Meet Julie Jelonek – The Buffalo #HRCommunity!

Back in April I created a fun series here on my blog where I introduced my network to some amazing HR pros in my network! It was so much fun to highlight a variety of HR professionals in Buffalo which lead to great networking and discussion over on LinkedIn. (: I took May, June and July off, but decided to bring it back. I think we can all agree that we could use more fun, helpful content in our social media feeds that lifts each other up! I also love to give someone a spotlight and help them network online. I am so grateful to the amazing HR Community for showing up for each other and offering information and support during this challenging and unique time. You all are the best! If there’s anything I can help you with, please send me a message on LinkedIn or through the contact me area here on my blog.

julie jelonek

Meet Julie! I love how Julie describes herself as an enthusiastic HR business partner. I first met Julie in the fall of 2019 when we sat at the same table at the local SHRM Chapter (BNHRA) annual legal update meeting. (Which is coming up at the end of September 2020 I should add – register today!) Since then we’ve attended multiple Zoom professional development and networking calls together and the enthusiastic piece of her title could not be more true. Her positive vibes are contagious. Learn more about Julie below!

Introduce yourself

I’m Julie Jelonek and I am an enthusiastic HR Business Partner with diverse HR experience.  My passion is building relationships with managers and employees to solve HR issues that drive business success.

Right out of college, I completed a Banking HR Management Training program which really kick started my HR career. When the bank closed, I found a home as an HR Generalist in Manufacturing where I was involved in many aspects of the HR field.  I have been able to gain experience in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Performance Management, Compensation, Employee Engagement, Communication, Training, Affirmative Action and Relocation.

Describe your current or most recent position and in what industry do you work

Currently, I am looking for my next HR opportunity after a downsizing at my last employer. I was a Sr. HR Generalist at a metals manufacturing facility with over 600 employees for a large part of my career.  I enjoyed spending time in manufacturing being an HR resource for our managers on recruitment, performance management and employee communication.  One of the best parts of my job was giving plant tours and allowing people to see processes they had never seen, like the pouring of molten metal.

What part of your HR work excites you most and allows you to use your strengths/passion?

Tuning into employees gets me the most excited…Employee Engagement.  Doing an Employee Survey and taking that feedback to make positive changes that benefit our human resources, makes me feel energized.  I like when strides can be made in company culture.  I enjoy when employees have pride in their workplace and when they enjoy their jobs.  Consistency in the key, it doesn’t happen overnight.  It is the actions and re-actions we take every day in HR with each employee interaction that help make that difference.

How has COVID-19 impacted you the most?

These are crazy and unprecedented times!  My family has been fortunate, but I found it especially weird in the beginning being shut inside watching the world on the television screen.   I have not been working so did not have to contend with working and Covid, bless all the HR people who have been on the front lines keeping things safe for their employees!

I have 3 daughters and 2 of them have been working full time’, one at a Health Care office and the other at a Daycare center. The third daughter, a college student, did contract Covid in July, but luckily it was a mild case.  My husband has been working full time from home since March.

I have mostly been impacted by job hunting during Covid.  Staying positive and networking with HR people certainly helps.  It does seem like companies are getting their feet back under them from this crisis and the employment market seems to be coming back slowly.

What are you doing to practice self-care?

I have been taking plenty of walks, binging on Netflix (Hart of Dixie is recommended) and getting a lot of use out of my pool.  I zoom every Monday at lunch with past HR co-workers, which is great therapy. Spending quality time with my daughters has also kept my priorities straight.

What is a word of advice or encouragement you’d give to other HR pros?

Track and celebrate your accomplishments.  We don’t always get pats on the back from our leaders or managers for the great things we accomplish.  Celebrate your own wins.  Make sure to track your accomplishments. I track mine monthly, and I’m always surprised at the end of the year when I look back that some great stuff really did get done in between all the fire fighting.  Celebrate those wins!

Share something fun about yourself

My sister and I love to head out on weekend mornings to breakfast spots, now that restaurants are back open.  We are on the hunt for the best home fries in WNY!

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