ADVISORY SPOTLIGHT: 10 Qs with Human Skills Superhero … Jenny Honig
Welcome Jenny, and thanks for stepping into the Maxme Spotlight!
You’re an invaluable member of the Maxme Advisory – a true human skills superhero – but you’re also a Senior Project Manager with Australia Post. In 1 sentence, what does role this entail?
As a Senior Project Manager, I am responsible for planning and delivering strategic business solutions, by setting the direction of the project activities and establishing the working framework and environment to ensure the project team members can be successful. My role is about creating strong working relationships and motivating others to deliver the program vision and objective.
You’re also a Project Management Consultant with vast experience across Education, Banking, Digital Transformation and more. In 3 dot points, what do you love about this work?
Projects are all very different – no two are the same. Each business has unique needs so every project presents new challenges and opportunities
Working with other people to solve a problem. Everyone brings a unique perspective and different experiences
Seeing demonstrable benefits for businesses, customer and staff at the end of each project
Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?
Great question! What I studied and where I started my career to where I am today has been quite the journey. I studied Information Technology & Programming but realised early on that this was not an area I was interested in. Through experimenting with different roles and industries, I gravitated to project leadership which gives me the opportunity to use the skills, knowledge and experience I have gathered along the way. I found my area of expertise and carved my career around it.
Maximising human potential through the power of human skills is the reason Maxme exists. What inspires / excites you most about this mission you’re helping to bring to life?
Human skills are fundamental in life, regardless of profession or job. Everyone meets and interacts with different people on a daily basis – different cultures, different backgrounds, different experiences and different perspectives. Knowing how to communicate, empathise and relate to others is the foundation for relationship building. And as humans we all desire to get along with others and have meaningful interactions and experiences from which we can all learn and grow.
Self Awareness sets the critical foundation for all Maxme learning experiences. With that said … what’s your strongest trait / personal super power?
Leadership is my strongest trait. Good thing I became a project leader!
Reflecting on Australia’s current education frameworks, curriculums and workforce pathways, what do you believe needs to be changed, fixed or solved?
More focus on the development of people skills (i.e human skills) rather than just a focus on technical skills and knowledge. Education needs to better prepare the upcoming generations on the importance of relationships – personally and professionally. That is, how to understand and use their strengths, emotions, creativity and communication (talking and listening) skills to supplement their area of study or apprenticeship to be more well rounded. Being successful is not just about having good technical skills, but equally (and often more importantly) is understanding other people’s perspectives and learning to collaborate and compromise where appropriate. Education, like other industries, needs to evolve to and help shape the changing landscape of how we live and work.
We know you’re a human skills superhero … but if you had to pick just one to truly master, which would it be and why?
Difficult question to answer as each human skill is important. But if I had to pick I’d say understanding your strengths and drivers. You need to know yourself first – what you are good at, what you are not great at and what motivates you. Self awareness is the basis of all effective relationships.
If you could share one piece of career advice with Upper Secondary &/or Uni students, what would it be?
Find your passion … everything else will fall into place.Know what you are good at, what inspires you and you will be successful in your endeavors. Don’t necessarily settle for the first job you try – expand your mind and experiences to follow your true path. It worked for me.
You’ve been granted approval to add one University graduate to your team, but have 100 applicants, all with outstanding academic results. How do you find your perfect candidate – what are you looking for?
The right attitude. Someone who is willing to learn, be curious and contribute to a team.
In the words of John Dewey, “education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.”
What’s next on your #learning agenda?
I have always had a desire for continuous learning, to keep pace with business and technology trends. So I will continue to be curious and try new things to supplement my personal and professional experiences.