Name: Jacinta Peel
Country of Origin: Australia
Country of Current Residence: Australia, but I own a house in Panama City Beach, Florida
Job Title: Shipboard Human Resources Director
1. Why did you choose this career path and how long have you been in your current role?
I held a similar position in the Australian Army for 23 years and was looking for a change and thought.... HR Director on a cruise ship - I can do that! So here I am, and I’ve been doing this now for 6 and a half years.
2. What are you responsible for?
In a nutshell, I am responsible for all shipboard employee relations issues and I spearhead crew welfare and morale on board. We have fun activities to keep everybody fit, healthy and happy. I'm also a member of the Health, Environmental, Safety and Security steering committee and together we try to ensure everyone enjoys their time on board, safely.
3. What specific qualifications and/or experience is required for this position?
A Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Psychology or similar field, several years' international HR management experience and extensive employee relations experience, specifically in the handling of complex and sensitive issues. They should also be able to manage diverse teams and communicate across cultures. This is a must in my opinion
4. Please describe a typical working day for you.
I always start my day in the gym!. I then have dedicated 'crew hours' in the morning, maybe a meeting or two; possibly a Disciplinary Committee meeting, HESS steering committee meeting, safety focus groups etc. I generally eat lunch with the crew, then another couple of hours in the office - answering questions, assisting with administration, managing emergency issues etc. and then in the evening there is usually an event to attend, such as the Captains Cocktail Party, Platinum and Diamond events for our frequent cruisers, employee recognition award ceremonies etc. There really isn’t a typical day, which is what I love about the role.
5. What personal qualities do you consider to be drivers of success for this position?
Patience, empathy and great listening skills. An ability to remain balanced and objective as well as firm but fair, but most importantly - flexibility and a sense of humour.
6. If you weren’t doing what you are doing today, what other job would you have chosen and why?
This is my second career. I had an amazing time in the military and achieved everything I wanted to there. At the moment there is nowhere else I would rather be. If I wanted to do something else, I would just do it - life is too short!
7. What do you enjoy most and what do you enjoy least about your job?
I love meeting new people all the time and travelling to new countries and experiencing new things. My least favourite thing would have to be, advising a team member that their contract of employment is being terminated, for whatever reason (usually breaking the rules). Our rules are in place for their safety and security and if employees cannot adhere to them, they cannot be part of our team. Depending on the situation, this can be hard.
8. Which of your co-workers would you like to give a 'shout out' to and why?
I'd like to give a shout out to Learning & Development Manager, Althea Cockrell. I have completed multiple contracts with her and we always work brilliantly together. I love that she is so efficient and so good with people - she makes my job much easier. Hopefully we will work together again very soon.
8. What do you do for fun?
I love to exercise - for me, this is fun! My other favourite pastime is reading. I am an absolute book nerd and read about 2-3 books a week.
9. Tell us something about yourself that not many people know!
I once starred in the TV show Australian Gladiators.... and won.
10. What piece of advice do you have for anybody considering a career in your sector?
Do it! Get the qualifications and experience you need and take a leap of faith. It’s not for everyone, but you will never know unless you give it a go.