Friday, 11 March 2011

From HR Toddler to Here and Now.

My first post in this series is written by Katherine Connolly. After I have approached Katherine about writing this guest post, it took her one day to get back to me with what I find as exceptionally good written post. This text shows little bit of Katherine’s sense of humour but mainly very positive attitude towards HR seen as more than just a job. 

Katherine is a founder of the HR consultancy firm called “Keeping HR Simple” where name of her company reveals also her mission statement to help small businesses understand HR with no jargon involved. Katherine is also CIPD member and her personal views on HR can be seen on her blog here. You can also follow Katherine on twitter @HR_Katherine.
Now see what Katherine has to say: 

Firstly, let me say that I’m not sure I’ve progressed much beyond the toddling stage.  If we’re talking about the 7 Ages of HR, I’m definitely in the infant stage, although I like to think that I don’t do much “mewling and puking”! 

I must say that I do like the analogy of being like a child when it comes to working in HR.  Here are just some of the reasons:

I can honestly say that I learn something new every day even if sometimes I have to unlearn everything I thought I knew. 
I try to be independent but often have to ask for help to do something.
I have learnt that there’s no shame in acknowledging that I don’t know how to do certain things.
Sometimes, I just want to sit down and have a little cry but I know that crying doesn’t solve anything!

For me, HR has always been a passion and I’m equally passionate about helping businesses to see beyond the legislation and to understand that when things are done properly, they can learn to engage with their employees for the benefit of the business. 

If I had one tip for anyone starting out in HR it would be to take things personally.  If your company or your client has to make redundancies, be upset about it.  If there is very little communication between management and staff, do what you can to change the culture.  If you can make it a better place to work, do it.  After all, if you don’t care and you don’t take things personally, you’re in the wrong job.    

Katherine Connolly

Are you HR professional thinking of giving something back and you don’t know where to start? Writing short story about your beginnings in HR can help a lot to other HR enthusiasts looking for inspiration, answers and strength. Email me at hrbeginner at gmail dot com or tweet me @HRbeginner. Eventually, if you are looking for becoming more active in helping other HR on their journey, I strongly suggest signing up at Among other exciting features you will also find a group set up for mentors. For those of you not knowing what connectingHR is, well there is nothing like this community out there being so vital and keen to engage in HR talks caring about each other and helping whenever possible.ConnectingHR website by itself is relatively new but don't get confused as the community exists for some time now on twitter and yammer.

While I myself have some journey on front of me before I start sharing my HR story, for now this blog is my way of “Giving Something Back”. What is Yours?

1 comment:

Christine Livingston said...

I really like your advice here, Katherine: "take things personally". Yes, HR is there to support the business, but its currency is people with all the diversity, values and emotions that entails. And we are human too and it's a real skill to use our humanity as a powerful conduit to guide actions and decisions.

I'd add that this can sometimes be emotionally draining, and HR folks should protect their passion by making sure they have someone else to talk things through with. Could be a boss, a trusted peer, someone in your professional network, or a dedicated mentor. Just a trusted fellow professional who understands and can support.

Post a Comment