Let's face it, most HR departments have a pretty bad reputation. When I tell people that I work in HR, I usually get a slightly confused look. When I tell people that I love the work that I do, I always get an inescapably confused look. Individuals' perceptions of HR are changing. It's just that - well - most people have a certain nightmare-ish experience that comes to mind when conversation turns to this mysterious department. People love to share their HR stories with me. I devour them. Many start out with something like... "Ohhhh.... HR. The only thing I really know about HR is the time I had to go down there with my boss to XXX." Now, who wouldn't enjoy a story that starts like that. Even I can't believe half of the stuff I hear, and I've dealt with some weird stuff in HR.
Unfortunately most of the stories are negative or, at the very least, involve bad news. They serve as sort of a jolt that makes me happy to be a part of the new wave of HR - the future of a department that can be an amazing dimension of a progressive, successful organization.
So work with me here. Start to get all of those notions of compliance, punishment, rules, etc. out of your head. That's where a lot of HR was but not where it's been heading (and continues to head). Don't get me wrong, I've worked with more than a few people who are all about old-school HR. They make me crazy because they do an outstanding job of living up to the dark side of HR's reputation. They are the people that propel me to "run out for a cup of coffee" so that I can bang my head against the wall.
Trust me, you'll see HR becoming more and more about strategy, flexibility, change management, employee advocacy and a bunch of other good stuff. There is an ever-expanding population of us moving it in that direction.
Being solution oriented and proactive, I decided to extend my HR work to the Resume Writing and Career Development work I do here. I see the potential in people and want to ensure that employees and job-seekers feel empowered to be an integral part of an organization.