Where am I and how did I get here?

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:

Growing Up

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.


3 thoughts on “Where am I and how did I get here?

  1. Thanks for the mention Julie. This is a great post and I know I also struggle with the “what is HR really all about?” and “is this really me?” questions. It took me a long time to work out that I don’t need to follow someone’s blueprint of an HR Manager and to eliminate the noise. Just do what you believe in and believe is right for your organisation. I was just watching Virgin Atlantic’s video “Flying in the Face of Ordinary” which is worth a view. See yourself as that welcome splash of red in a bland, beige, can’t be bothered kind of HR world! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WptXNmxtE88

  2. @hrmannz – thank you so much for the comment and support – I don’t think I will ever stop asking the questions, but that’s a good thing, right?

    Thanks for the link too.

  3. Pingback: When I grow up | Accidental HR

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