DATE: 04/03/2009 02:39:08 PM
i know. i know.
Just hear me out. I know that human resources often gets a bad rap. And, I’m ok with that. We are the people who have to coach, counsel, and sometimes terminate employees. But to me, it is one of the most exciting professions to be involved in.
I didn’t dream of being in HR from childhood. Quite the opposite. I wanted to be something glamorous like a rock star. However, a very bad singing voice stopped that dream. So, like many other people, I started college not knowing what I wanted to be. My father thought I should major in accounting because I am very analytical and good with numbers. But, after working in HR for many years in one of the Big 4 public accounting firms, I assure you that I was never cut out to be an accountant.
I went to college and left there years later with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. Not knowing what I wanted to do with that, I began exploring different career options. One person I had the absolute pleasure of meeting was the HR Director at the manufacturing company my father worked for. I was in complete awe. She was upbeat, friendly, outgoing, caring, and kind. But, she had a tough edge too. She had to. Dealing with union issues and working in a predominantly male workplace made her tough. I admired her immediately. I wanted to be her.
So, I set out to be in HR. I went back to school for a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management. I took a job where I learned how to interview, recruit, and handle generalist duties. I was starting to live my dream.
Now, almost 15 years later, I am loving my career. I still have days where I have to be “evil HR” and do things that employees do not like. I still have to counsel employees on poor performance, I still have to enforce policies that employees may not understand or like. But, it is all worth it.
I love being part of setting HR strategy. I get to know our employees and be part of their success. I am rewarded with kindness and appreciation when I help someone deal with a difficult employee relations issue. I have helped many people work on their career goals. I have designed training courses to develop technical and soft skills. I am able to participate in interesting projects. And, most of all, I get to come to work each day to a career I love. What more could I ask for.
One of my most prized HR possessions is a hand written note. I didn’t receive it from someone in leadership. I received it from a former employee. An employee who had been let go. It was a thank you note that told me he appreciated my guidance and counsel. He also thanked me for always treating him with respect.
This note represents why I come to work in HR every day. It’s about helping employees not only during the good times, but even in the bad. And about providing respect and encouragement. This is why I love HR.