This past week I had a very cool experience !! One of our Team Members is going to college and wants to go into Human Resources. He asked if it would be okay to meet. I jumped at the chance !!
I went out to the restaurant where he works and we sat in a booth after we made the obligatory introductions. As we settled in, I started, “So, how can I help you?” Out of the blue he gives the most massive question possible, “So, what’s HR like ??”
I’ll be honest. I was speechless for a moment. It wasn’t the question I expected. He didn’t want to hear the oddyssey of my career or honestly anything about me. It was incredibly refreshing !! He wanted to learn about the field, the profession, the ins and out as well as the ups and downs. By the way, he’s a millenial.
According to the myriad of HR writing that exists in the blogosphere, this young man wasn’t living up to his stereotype. He was engaged, interested and curious. He wasn’t a slacker who was looking for something inane like work/life balance or how to make a gigantic salary while being a lone wolf who doesn’t know how to communicate because he grew up with technology. Have I covered them all yet ?? But, I digress.
It was the best hour of my week. A chance to sit down and talk about how and why you can be passionate about HR and thriving in it as a career. So, what did I tell him HR was like ?? Here are a few of the key things I shared.
HR is Essential !!
This may seem a bit crass as an assumption, but it is a deep held belief by me. If an organization has humans, it has a need for human resources. I don’t mean to belittle this at all because too often organizations think they can just wing it and hope that nothing horrid happens without HR. I understand that not all companies can have a full-time HR pro, but you can get HR resources that can assist you.
This reality of being essential gives HR a bright, tangible and valued future. This isn’t about “how” HR is practiced. It is, however, the anchor for our existence !!
HR is NEVER the same !!
I explained that if you want to get into a field that is predictable, mundane and full of absolutes then don’t go into HR. I did warn him that there are HR pros, and companies, who limit the scope, involvement and impact of what HR does for them. It saddens me that this exists, but I wanted him to have a holistic view of what he was pursuing. I think the constant ebb and flow of variety in HR is what sets it apart from most professions. You have to remember that you’re whole professional existence is surrounded by people. And people are NEVER the same . . . ever !! I explained that this can either be exhausting and frustrating or it can be energizing and exhilarating !! I think he knows which set I follow.
HR is a great career choice !!
I told him that this factor was hard to find and I appreciated that he was checking out the field by talking to HR pros. You see, I wasn’t the first person he talked to. I was the third. I was geeked when he said, “I haven’t heard this positive outlook about HR yet.” I told him I wasn’t surprised. I told him that I have a big, hairy audacious goal for ALL HR pros to be connected as well as passionate about who we are and what we do. He liked that and said THAT is what he was looking for in a career.
I told him that I’d be available for him whenever he needed me and for whatever other insight and advice he needed as he entered the world of HR.
You see, I didn’t want him to see a stereotype of a generation either. I’m geeked for his present and his future !! And to think it all started with one question. If someone had to ask you, what would you say ?? What’s HR like for you ??
I hope it’s full of hope, positivity and passion because then you’ll understand how incredible Human Resources really is !!