Playing catch-up and my next career move


*the above post originally scheduled for last week was written in invisible font, and is only accessible by my premium blog followers. And by premium, I mean those that pay to read my blog.

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This week I have been working on a list of my next potential careers:

Lighthouse keeper
Zoo keeper
Bee Keeper
Strawberry and/or apple picker

If you are looking for any kind of pattern or trend, let me help you…there is little to no human interaction required.

You know it’s a good week in HR when you are looking at possible ways to not have to deal with other people.


Machinery Engagement

Random Thoughts

I am going to start this off by saying that I have absolutely no idea what this post is about. So, if you are the type of person who is concerned about wasting their time – I highly recommend that you move on.

On the other hand, if you are the type of person who does like to waste time, then I’m not entirely sure that I can avoid the possible insinuation that my blog is the kind of place to go to when you want to kill some time.

Just kidding – I don’t care. There are really not that many things that get me riled up or insulted (unless you are related to me, in which case just about everything riles me up and is a potential insult).

It’s true. I’m calm. I’m collected.

I have probably mentioned this before, but I live in a rural community which I love. However, there are some slight inconveniences like not having indoor plumbing or electricity. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but we do have a well and septic tank. And if the power goes out – we can’t use either.

We also have a sump pump that really only gets used this time of year when the snow starts to melt (yes, it actually does go away) and the ground thaws. So essentially we have a hole in our basement floor that I would like to imagine leads to some cavernous place a la Goonies, but in reality it is just a hole full of water.

When all is well in the world, the sump pump…well, it pumps. It removes the water from the hole to the surface and not into our basement. On a bad day…well, the water doesn’t get removed and we have the beginnings of a fountain in our crawl space.

And that was my Saturday. On a fluke I went to the backroom to look for something, which I have since forgotten what it was, and noticed that the entire back wall area was water. Awesomesauce.

Hours of moving crap that I don’t know why we have, cleaning, and a new sump pump later…and we were back in business. Things are a bit damp, but at least the water is going where it should.

So it got me thinking that this lowly and seriously unappreciated piece of machinery – the sump pump – it vital to us. And yet we never check in on it..occasionally we glance in to make sure it’s still upright, doesn’t sound like it is burning out, or that water is flowing in the wrong direction. However, it is extremely easy to not bother…to just assume that it’s okay and that it will always be there do what it is supposed to do.

Until it doesn’t. And then you find yourself wearing rubber boots and mopping up a mess – not realizing how much of an impact one piece of equipment can have on your time and your energy – not to forget the potential damage.

Giving my sump pump a little bit of recognition

Giving my sump pump a little bit of recognition

So that’s my story and my blog post.

I really wish I could come up with some sort of clever HR or management analogy that would work, but I’m coming up dry.

I recommend that you read this post

More and more I rely on other people’s recommendations – whether I know them or not. Restaurant reviews, movies, books…I will seek out what other’s have to say.

Speaking of which, have you ever really taken the time to read some of the reviews on the Amazon site, some people have WAY too much freakin’ time (and this is coming from someone who writes a blog for the fun of it). The level of analysis and detail that some people go into is crazy. Of course, some of it is all in the Wolf Sweatshirt reviews.

Even at work, I turn to others for candidate referrals, training recommendations, and even ideas about career development. True story: I basically started heading down the HR path because someone recommended it. Look at how well that turned out.

However, there is a danger in relying solely on reviews and recommendations out there on the interweb and even from those that you know – it leaves us vulnerable to copping out of making our own personal opinion, unbiased by the words of others. It also puts you at risk of avoiding due diligence.

TMI* Warning:

Last week I woke up with a weird rash on my chest. My best guess is it was some type of allergic reaction, but since I didn’t have any other life threatening symptoms, beyond scratching myself insane, I went ahead with my day. Well, that is only after I took a commonly used off the shelf pill (*cough* Benadryl *cough*). I don’t suffer from allergies so I had never taken Benadryl before – my husband recommended it.

Me: “Will it make me drowsy?”
Husband: “No – of course not. I use it all the time.”

That was our brief conversation before I headed out the door and washed the pill down with coffee.

Two hours later I was sitting at, no it was more like slumped over my desk barely able to keep my eyes open. I tried to focus and do something productive…like send an email to the wrong recipient…and even filing was a challenge since apparently the alphabet is a non-negotiable sequence.

Finally the stuff wore off and I refused to take another, despite the fact that I probably looked like I was suffering from fleas. When I got home, I checked the bottle of medication and lo and behold…it may cause (freakin’) drowsiness. You don’t say.

Now, the obvious take-away is that you should always read the directions on medicine.

A second obvious take-away is don’t trust your husband when his answer is “No – of course not.”

However, aside from those obvious conclusions, I think the biggest reminder is that in relying solely on someone else’s word and recommendation you may put yourself in a situation that not only makes you uncomfortable, but you may also have a hard time rationalizing.

It could also leave others scratching their heads about my ability to make decisions.

Don’t worry, I’ll warn them about the possible side effects of the medicine that I’ll recommend for that…

* Too Much Information

The long and short of it

Every once in a while, HR and Management butt heads. It’s true.

There can be disagreements about all kinds of things: disciplinary process, policies, lack of policies, too many policies, staffing, documentation, the colour of the sky…the list literally goes on an on.

I have often been on the other side of the desk in a situation involving recruitment. Now what I define as recruitment is identifying, sourcing, posting, screening, interviewing, selecting, and placing a person in a vacant role. (I am purposely leaving out a great many details, but for the sake of keeping this post relatively short.)

Management’s definition of recruitment often is Oh and they have to be the same AND better than the last person. They need to be able to do the job as it has been done AND also in a way that we have yet to define. They need to be able to be subservient to some of the group AND be able to push back others. They need to be high performers AND willing to sacrifice personal development by staying in this role for the next ten years.

And it is this last sticking point that I’m going to focus on. The choice between the “high performer” and longevity. Because despite the emphasis on the “and”, this is really an “or” situation.

Why, you might ask, should you have to choose?

Isn’t it reasonable to want someone who has a lot of potential AND who will stay in the job for a long time?

Reasonable, but not easy.

Let me ask you – if you had management insisting that they would be willing to pass over highly qualified candidates in favour of longevity – what would you think?

Is this a matter of quantity over quality? Would you not rather get 2-3 years of high quality and hopefully “engaged” work from one candidate or would you prefer 5+ of middle of the road.

And for that matter – what guarantee do you have that the long-term investment you are making will actually come to fruition? Are you going to have them sign a 10-year contract with a no trade clause? And what if they DO stay on past that 5 year mark and you are not impressed with their performance?

On a scale of “one to I-don’t-care”, intentionally passing over candidates who are going to give you the best quality because you think they are going to bail…well that says more about the job, your group, and your management than it does about the candidate…doesn’t it?

In the long run, you can expect to be going through this process again AND again AND again.