Dennis Green, aPHR loves having a positive impact on people. Immediately out of college he became an event planner, but that role didn’t offer the satisfaction he craved from his job. A career change was in order. Green considered law, but ultimately felt drawn to HR. He earned his Associate Professional in Human Resources (aPHR) certification and hasn’t looked back.
Now, as a people operations generalist at financial tech startup Figure, Green is making his career dreams come true. “I get to be a culture carrier for my company,” he says. “Every day I get to experience HR is fun and exciting.”
Here’s how Green leveraged the benefits of aPHR certification to take control of his career and find fulfillment, both in his work and beyond it.
Kickstarting a Career in HR
Green began his career with Figure as an office coordinator, but it didn’t take him long to make an impression with the company’s HR. From there he moved into a role managing people processes and employee relationships. “I got to help source and find candidates, and I was dealing with people every day,” he says.
Green was fast-tracked into a people coordinator role and most recently promoted to a people operations generalist. He credits getting the aPHR for helping him get ahead. “I got my aPHR when I was an office coordinator,” Green says. “It has helped me progress rapidly.”
Since the aPHR doesn’t require experience, Green feels he’s been able to skip ahead to get the role he wants. “When I got the aPHR as an office coordinator, I had people reaching out to me from companies like Tesla, financial tech startups and even at local universities,” Green says. “It made me feel like I was wanted on the job market.”
Supporting a Startup
Green joined Figure only a year into its life. Growing alongside the startup has given Green significant learning opportunities early in his career. While his work environment has allowed him to develop his skills, he has helped shape its development, too. “When you work at a startup, you get the opportunity to impact processes,” he says.
Among other benefits of aPHR certification, Green now feels more empowered to share his knowledge, approach projects strategically and set precedents for people processes. “The aPHR has helped me become more of a subject matter expert,” Green says. “It has helped me become a more trusted partner.” Indeed, since his certification, he finds colleagues feel more comfortable approaching him for advice on sensitive workplace matters.
Sharing HR Expertise With the Community
Serving people is Green’s passion, and it keeps him busy. He volunteers on several boards for local non-profits, gives his time as a Big Brother mentor and sits on the city council. He’s been able to apply his HR experience and expertise even as he gives back to the community, by strategically recruiting the best employees for the non-profits he serves.
Quite simply, the aPHR has helped him develop a personal strategy for putting people first in everything he does. “Everyone wants to be people-first, but they don’t know how to direct that motive,” Green says. Thanks to his foundational understanding of HR concepts and experience as a people operations coordinator, Green feels more empowered to make strategic decisions in his volunteer roles. As a result, his aPHR certification has helped transform not only his career, but his life outside the office as well.