I really don’t think that anyone grows up dreaming that they want to work in Human Resources. Honestly, I don’t.
Well, except for these kids:
Oh sure, there are many who actually go straight into studying HR – they get the knowledge and then look for experience. These HR-folk are awesome – they know their stuff, they have passion, they have energy…and I hate seeing them run into that glass door of reality.
However, HR seems to be one of those areas that many people “fall” into – whether intentionally or accidentally. This would be me.
When I first started working full-time, I took a sales support job with a company and told myself I would be there a couple of years. Ten years later, I left that company to pursue HR.
When I left the company, I was working as a lab analyst specializing in paper analysis. And by paper analysis, I mean actually analyzing and testing the physical paper…not what was written on it. I know, WTF?!
So I blindly jumped off a cliff and went seeking my destiny in HR. And it’s worked so far. And yes, the studies I did were a good source of information (honestly, if I had worked and studied as hard as I did for this compared to when I did my undergraduate oh so many years ago, I can only imagine where I might be today), but the truth is it was many years experience sitting on the other side of the desk that truly taught me HR.
I can remember sitting across from bad HR – you know that dodgy lady who refuses to give you a straight answer, who organized potlucks, and seemed absolutely out of touch with what was really going on in the company. But, I can also remember sitting across from a fantastic HR lady who “got it” and supported the employees, the managers, and the business.
I decided to draw from both of these to create my own brand of HR. And that’s what I think is important to remember. HR is not black and white – oh sure there are regulations and such, but there is no one way to do HR. Wherever you are and at whichever level you are at, you have to put a bit of “you” in the HR you do.
There are days when I ask myself if I’m right for HR. There are days when I ask if HR is right for me. I often struggle with the preconceived ideas (both mine and those of other people) of what HR is and whether I am adding value.
The reality is that I’m not a “people person” and some days I want to just say, “that’s just too f-in bad…deal with it”.
However, I am reassured when I read of other HR folk who feel the same way, like Richard Westney.
I realized there is room for my brand of HR. Now, getting everyone else on-board with it…that’s the next challenge.