I can say without reservation that most HR folks I know are really nice people who do a respectable job. I can also say without reservation that most HR folks I know are not wild party animals live life on the edge and who routinely break company policy.
But does the term “respectable” go hand in hand with, shall I say, “boring”?
As a recruiter, business mentor and career coach, I’ve spent over 16 years encouraging people to invest time and effort into building their networks.
‘Networking’ was traditionally viewed as a business related activity. Commonly the remit of senior executives in an organisation and, more often than not, male ones at that, networking wasn’t viewed as an integral part of life-working, or, rather of making life work.
Women are natural relationship-builders. We often overlook this strength as it comes so naturally to us. Networking is merely another label for what we do naturally. So, get out there and do what you do naturally and brilliantly – and network.
I think certain phrases, for all their subtlety, actually cut through a lot of nonsense simply because you can convey a depth of meaning rather quickly and politely. And I think that is a skill all HR professionals could use.
Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be straight forward in our communication or that there aren’t times when you do have to come right out and be clear, such as during a layoff. Layoffs don’t need subtlety in your message; they need no nonsense clarity and compassion. And if you are in front of an unemployment judge you are better off sticking to the facts.
There are right ways and wrong ways of communicating all this critical information we have to share. The challenge as HR professionals is learning the best ways to do so and that takes time, experience, and the ability to learn from our mistakes.
Although I’ve been fortunate in my own maternity leave experiences I find that some companies still treat maternity leave as a necessary evil rather than a differentiated way to attract, retain and engage talented people.
Talk about a missed opportunity! The working moms I know are some of the most efficient workers you can get for money. They have to be so they can get home, cook dinner, fold laundry, wipe noses, change diapers, bandage boo boos, check homework, read stories, bake brownies, bring kids to bed then finish up their day jobs after the kids go to bed.
Think these women can’t handle a little work? Think again: these flexible, multitasking moms are a workforce to reckon with.
You studied what you love, right? And you want to find a job doing what you studied. You want to find a job that can utilize your talents and interests; one where you won’t be bored, underutilized or blown off. But there is just one problem: there are no jobs in your field. Everybody is telling you to find a temporary position; something you can do until you find your elusive perfect job. No. You don’t want to do that. You don’t want to be stuck as a peon for the rest of your life. But you don’t want to starve either.
How can you find your perfect job? How can you resist the temptation to just find something, anything that pays? Here’s how.
Imagine (which may not be too hard) that as a result of your team’s hard work and commitment, you reach a pivotal point – a point at which the future of your business could change for the better. Now you are faced with the challenge of making important decisions, creating innovative plans and taking action. The most critical of these steps is the initial decisions you make, and I’m here to let you in on a secret to success – use your vision, 3-D vision, that is! This 3-D experience is defined by three essential elements: Discuss, Debate and Decide.
Luckily, the lion’s share of any HR work I do is done from the safety of my home. Being an information junkie, I can research and sweat my brains out without anyone being the wiser. But I do have one contract that requires going to an office and meeting with people. This is where things get a little dicey. As a book reviewer, I am seeing a trend among leadership research toward a kinder, fairer and more humane definition of leadership. This is good.
A few weeks ago, week my constant state of being over committed caught up with me and I fell ill. My body was telling me to slow down and I fought it with everything I had, but I lost. The result of what happened was exactly what I needed. You see, I had an ENTIRE day to myself. No one at home. No one at my office door. No electronic device tempting me . . . . it was just what I needed.
It’s not just what we learn in books or on-the-job that makes us good solid human resources professionals; it’s also what we are made of. Our early beginnings, where we came from and how we grew up has a lot to do with how we work with and influence others on a day-to-day basis. It can have a significant influence on our performance and ability to connect with employees, managers, owners and other relationships related to our work.
Several weeks ago I sat next to a very nice older couple on a plane. I estimated their ages at as close to 80 which means they were probably born at some time in the 1930s and came of age in the 1950s. As I reviewed some work I had brought with me, this prompted the Mrs. to open up a fresh line of chit chat with me, as she, with a wide-eyed look on her face inquired,
“Do you work outside the home?”
I have to admit…I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question in my life.