I’ve been in the business world for close to 20 years now. For more than half of those years, I’ve been in a profession I once knew very little about and cared nothing for. I’m pretty sure the term Human Resources never even came up in Business School (if it did, it certainly didn’t resonate.) And yet here I am waving the HR profession’s banner. Why? I have no freakin’ idea. And most who know me…like really know me…simply bust a gut at the idea of an organization actually letting me set foot near their HR team. There you have it, I probably don’t belong here. I wake up some days and wonder whether this is really my life. Is this what I was put on this earth to do? No way. It’s a means to an end and I don’t mind saying it.
I met with a bunch of HR undergraduate students the other day. They’re looking for that first job…and not having a lot of luck. It’s a bad time to graduate. It just is. So while you’re reflecting, if you have even the slightest notion that HR might be your calling, I could probably give you a pretty good sales pitch for why you should “go for it.” That may be what you want to hear, but it’s not what you need to hear. You really need someone to tell you why you just might want to avoid this crazy f’d up gig. So here it is. Please don’t get into HR if you:
- Want to be respected based solely on the virtue of your title or role,
- hope to reap bountiful financial rewards,
- aren’t good at taking orders,
- struggle with caste systems and second-class citizenship,
- frustrate easily,
- are allergic to rules and regulations,
- hate balancing multiple commitments,
- are most motivated by creative expression,
- tire of mediocrity quickly,
- aren’t comfortable saying ‘no,’
- can’t tolerate injustice, inequality, or inequity,
- sicken when immersed in drama,
- don’t want to be unsung,
- grow faint when mired in administrivia,
- want endless access to upward mobility.
I certainly had noble aspirations for joining this profession. My friends, HR and nobility (check the definition) have very little to do with one another. That doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting, challenging, rewarding, and important. Just know what you’re getting yourself into; that way you’ll at least be getting into it with your eyes wide open.
Image Credit: Pieces of Phour