A career in Human Resources (HR) can be a double edged sword, on one hand extremely fulfilling and on the other extremely draining at the same time.
I don’t share much about my daily work due to confidentiality reasons however I can speak about how it’s affects my life and generalize some situations that I know every HR professional has gone through.
I’ve worked in a variety of industries over the past 17 years, from manufacturing to food production and most recently healthcare.
I truly believe that the Human Resources skillset is transferable to any industry.
What can make HR difficult is getting to know the ins and outs of the organization you’re working for, picking apart it’s culture, and deciphering how HR fits into the overall organizational strategy and vision.
I’ve had a progressive HR career, starting out as an HR Admin Assistant then as a HR Coordinator, an HR Generalist, an HR Manager and prior to my current role as an HR Consultant, a Senior HR Manager.
Personally, one of the toughest parts of HR is that many people/ organizations expect you to be warm and fuzzy 24/7, they expect you to fight fires and fix the people issues etc and yes those expectations come with the job but I believe there’s so much more. I chose this profession for more.
HR management is all encompassing. It is a wide range of areas that support an organizations’ management of its people. From recruitment and retention to benefits/payroll administration and labour relations, all aspects of HR relate to people.
The sole reason I became an HR practitioner in the first place. I don’t know how or why, but a large part of who I am is related the connections I have and make with people. It only made sense to enter this profession 18 years ago!
Those same people are what make the job tough. To be honest some folks just aren’t nice for whatever reason. Some folks have had bad experiences with previous employers and bring that with them to their new one. Unfortunately, they become the focus and most of the time is spent trying to correct their behaviour vs recognizing and developing their skills etc.
I cannot “unhear” some of the things I’ve heard over the years. I cannot “unsee” some of the behaviour either. And yet, each day, HR practitioners need to continue to exhibit neutral, unemotional, and professional behaviour no matter how many groans they hear when they walk into a room or how much the majority of the organization may despise HR.
It’s more of an understanding that’s required and it starts at the top of the organizational hierarchy.
Heads up to businesses thinking that Human Resources is a department you can do without: While we aren’t bringing in the dough, we can bring in quality people who can. We can also (if you allow us to) save you a ton of dough. We help make the employees more productive, we help temper interpersonal relationships, we evaluate and reduce turnover, we advise on retaining talent, and the list goes on!
At the end of the day remember that the folks who practice HR are people too and the job can take its toll. I won’t even talk about the people who practice HR and shouldn’t be, that’s an entirely different post!
Go give your awesome HR people a hug today!
Actually on second thought, don’t, you’ll probably get in trouble, it’s inappropriate.
Give them a high five or perhaps just a thank you instead!
What has been your experience with HR in the organizations you’ve worked for? Good? Bad? Ugly?
Are you in HR? Would you have anything to add?
Share those thoughts folks!