Joseph Williams: Member Spotlight (March 2017)

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Joseph Williams: Member Spotlight (March 2017)

“In HR we wear many hats…and sometimes we get caught up in the transactional work and feel like we don’t have the time but MAKE the time to invest in your continued development to stay relevant.”

–Joseph Williams, Human Resources Principal, DeKalb County


Here is the Member Spotlight of another Atlanta-native.  When this man donates blood, it comes out red and black, blue and orange, blue and yellow, red and white, red, white, and blue, and all of the other colors associated with this city and state.  As if to ‘one-up’ others in the already rare Atlanta-native breed, he has lived in DeKalb County all of his life, went to college and graduate school in Atlanta, his 2 daughters went to the same high school that he went to, his wife went to a metro-Atlanta high school, and during his career in Human Resources he has worked with the state of Georgia for 9 years, the city of Atlanta for over 22 years, and now works with DeKalb County as an HR Generalist Principal.   Oh, and did I mention that he “likes” to travel but he “loves” MARTA (…and NASCAR)? I am talking about none other than NAAAHR member, Joseph Williams.

Joseph has been working with DeKalb County since April of 2016 where he handles human resources responsibilities in the areas of Facilities Management and Watershed Management.  He is currently helping to finalize a pay and classification study involving hundreds of job descriptions for DeKalb County.  His beginnings in the field go back to the 1980s, working with the state of Georgia as a clerk in the Banking department.  “At the beginning of your journey, you don’t always see your path.  While I was working as a clerk, the HR person said that they had a job downtown in Human Resources.  I took the test, interviewed for the position, and got my first HR job as a Personnel Analyst.  I worked with the state of Georgia under the Merit system for 9 years. ” While there, Joseph reviewed paperwork (yes paperwork) for government positions from all over the state of Georgia; mostly positions with the Department of Corrections but also evaluations of people applying for Librarian positions and Vocational Rehabilitation.

Joseph was conducting an online search for different professional membership organizations when he discovered NAAAHR and has been a member for about 3 years now.  “It sounded like a great organization, it was free at the time, and I worked near Georgia Power so I was able to take MARTA there from work.  I didn’t know anybody there initially but I really enjoyed my first meeting, liked what I saw, and joined the organization on the spot.   The quality of the programming is excellent! It is always current and relevant.  The speakers are usually established, seasoned HR Professionals ranging from independent consulting firms to large companies.  The meetings also allow time for great networking opportunities, most meetings are HRCI certified and can be used for Continuing Education Credits, and they provide a meal!”

Joseph’s final words of wisdom, “I’ve been doing this now for almost a third of a century.  For the first half of that time I was in my cubicle doing the transactional daily grind focusing on my specific area.  During this second half I realize that to stay relevant, it is about being strategic in my development. I’ve been focusing on getting out of my comfort zone and shifting my paradigm to do more networking and staying current with Employment Law and HR trends in the field.  I do this through conferences, webinars, and groups like NAAAHR.  In HR we wear many hats and it’s hard to do that well if you don’t have the information because you’re too focused on the narrow road directly in front of you.  Sometimes we get caught up in the transactional side of HR and we may feel like we don’t have the time but MAKE the time to invest in your continued development to stay relevant.”

Have you met Joseph in person yet? Want to hear more about his experience as a civil servant or share you fondest MARTA memories over dinner? Well then come on out and say hello to Joseph and meet professionals in Human Resources and other industries at the March chapter meeting on March 8th! Click here for more information and to register for this event.  While you’re at it, check out our monthly calendar for a list of upcoming events.  Advance registrants get a discounted rate from registrants at the door so don’t delay.  Register today!


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