Growth and learning opportunities at any company can be built into policy, but for both, it’s imperative that a supportive culture is in place to ensure employees know the full extent of their resources and can truly thrive.
At tech company Ping Identity, Walker Nisi started as a human resources admin and, over the course of four years, picked up new skills and advanced to more rigorous roles—gaining confidence with the help of mentors, leaders, and peers along the way.
Here, she shares how integral that support has been and why putting yourself forward for more knowledge and more connections can be some of the best career moves you can make.
Human Resources Analyst
Describe your experience transitioning through roles at Ping. What role were you in previously? What role are you in now?
Coming up on four years ago, I started as the office/human resources admin for our Denver office. I was excited about reporting into the People Operations team, and it was a great opportunity to get my foot in the door in Human Resources. In that role, I was able to meet people and build relationships with Identians—a nickname for Ping Identity employees—across the company, which was so valuable.
I raised my hand to get more opportunities to learn, which led to shadowing a few members of the Recruiting team. I slowly started to take on more Talent Acquisition-related tasks and, as a result, was promoted onto the team as a recruiting coordinator. In the transition, I gained more direct recruitment experience, oversaw the Ping Internship Program, and was responsible for all the behind the scenes operations that go into hiring employees and contractors. Additionally, two major buckets of responsibilities of that role were HR systems implementations and administration, in addition to analytics and reporting on people team metrics.
I attribute my experience in that recruiting role with systems and reporting as key drivers that helped me promote into my current role as an HR analyst on the Total Rewards team. I now wear many hats, but I am primarily responsible for compensation analysis, reporting of HR data, and HR system configuration/administration. I enjoy the position I have today and want to continue on a path in compensation specifically as I grow my career.
Schedule & Flexibility metrics such as Paid Time Off and Ability to Telecommute are strong at Ping Identity Corporation, a security and investigations company headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Their PTO is unlimited, and they also offer remote and hybrid work options. Plus, their highest metric is Employer Responsiveness, meaning you can expect an employer that listens and responds to your needs. Click to explore Ping Identity’s profile, ratings, and open jobs!
How did your leadership support you through this transition? How did Ping support you?
One of my previous bosses here at Ping was really supportive of me shadowing other teams to get more general HR experience. She could have insisted that I stay on her team, but instead she advocated on my behalf to other HR leaders, and was very conscious about highlighting my work to the larger team.
I’ve also had great mentors within Ping, like Kathryn Okaeme and Erin Farrell, who have given me professional advice and have helped me learn more about different business functions. My former teammate, Jake Pappas, went above and beyond to train and teach me technical and operational skills that have helped me succeed in the HR systems and reporting aspects of my job. My current boss, Merry Olivero Wolf, has done a tremendous job of passing on her compensation philosophy and knowledge to me, and I am glad I get to continue to grow under her guidance. Lastly, the chief administrative officer at Ping, Aaron LaPoint, has played a key role in my development by giving me intentional feedback and advice on how I should gain more HR experience. Coming from the compensation and benefits world, he pointed me to the position I have now, because he knew it would give me critical, transferable skills that will help me succeed in the future.
What advice would you give to someone looking to grow into different departments and roles in their careers?
If you have an idea of where you want to go, or what you want to do, take a step back and think bigger. Raise your hand and make it known that you want to learn and gain as much knowledge and experience as you can related to that field, regardless if you end up taking on a task or job that you didn’t picture yourself doing previously. Any bit of experience is beneficial because you can learn a skill, a lesson, or something about yourself along the way. You may never know how your career can pivot to a different direction. Offer to help where you can, volunteer, and go above and beyond as much as possible. Schedule time with people who have a career path you’d like to follow, to learn more about their experience. Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions to your manager or leadership team about how to get to where you want to go. Finally, own your own brand, work hard, and take pride in the work that you do so that you can look back and be proud of the path you took to where you are today.