I ended up in HR by accident. I didn’t study HR in college. I didn’t even study business. My early career in sales eventually led me to become a headhunter where I discovered my passion. I love working with the dynamics of how people and companies come together. It seems inevitable that my career would lead me to human resources, but my path here has been anything but traditional.
- The qualifications noted by my boss (the CEO) when hired for my current role were the following three things: sales skills, strategic ability, and a powerful and broad professional network. I was chosen over a dozen other HR professionals who had much more impressive and lengthy HR credentials. My organization “gets it.” But make no mistake that this will become more of a trend in the future.
- I don’t have a PHR, SPHR, or GPHR nor do I plan to get one. If you have been in HR for a while, you probably have deeper technical knowledge of HR than I do. I value HR technical knowledge, but it’s not what has helped me succeed. My strengths are deep in interpersonal, influence, strategy, and communication skills. Plus, I ask important questions and am unafraid of conflict.
- In my world, HR is a business practice. We exist to help the business be successful. HR is not social service. If that’s the kind of work you want to do, there are a lot of places who need your talents that aren’t HR.
- I am a Talent Anarchist. In full disclosure, besides my formal career in HR, I am also a paid professional speaker with my colleague Joe Gerstandt. We call ourselves Talent Anarchy. I have a passion for speaking in front of people about ideas.
- I’m not much of a conformist and I don’t much care for rules. I know that structure is important, but my disdain for unnecessary rules makes for some interesting tension in HR.
- I’m a proud member of Gen X. Read into that what you will.