At that time I had my heart set on being an airline pilot or a doctor or optometry. Based on my profile results I was essentially told that I was not smart enough to do either. Both of these turned out to be untrue, I became a pilot despite not being great at maths. These tests at the time served only to pigeon hole or limit the dreams of many young people, good intention but poor execution.
If you told me at 14 that one day my career arc would take me to being a human resources professional I would have used some very colourful language to essentially say “not a chance, no way”. Why would I say this? Because the world of human resources had been vilified to me. My aunt has been an HR professional for years and has a very distinguished record, yet members of my own family spoke about her work in such a negative light that I grew up thinking that the world of human resources was a scary and negative place. It turns out this could not be further from the truth.
I am not alone however, many people have a physical cringe moment when the topic of “HR” is raised. Further, often when someone is invited to meet me in my office the first question is “am I in trouble”. Why do people feel that way? I would suggest it stems from the notion that most guests say to me when they find out what I do “oh! you are the one that hires and fires”.
I do not like hearing the because, as I have learned, human resources is so much deeper than simply starting or ending someones career. I have so much respect now for what my aunt does, she works in a heavily unionised and regulated health care industry and yet when we meet we do not compete for the most recent exciting termination story or investigation. We talk about organisational development and how to support the business needs of our organisations and ensure we create an inspirational place to work.
It is true, sometimes we have to give bad news to an employee including ending their current employment. We also and more often get to give good news, a promotion or a successful hiring. We do not look at the end of someones career as a a bad thing, the news hurts them and we feel it too, we also know that if their career is ending with us it is for a good reason and they will certainly find more fulfilment in another role or a different company, bad news today can and is good news tomorrow.
Do not be afraid of HR, our soul purpose is to help you achieve you goals.