Buyer Beware: HR Advice From Bloggers Is Sketchy

Laurie Ruettimann Bad HR, Laurie Ruettimann

I make a decent living as a Human Resources consultant and blogger. People pay me for advice and counsel.

I am not sure why.

While I can support myself and dole out advice on everything from strategic HR to recruiting, I never take my own advice. I know what needs to happen in your workplace and in your office. In my life? I like the road less traveled, baby.

So here is a list of advice that I have given in the past week that I can’t seem to swallow.

Assume good intent.

I just advised a colleague to chill out and assume good intent during a difficult conversation. That's good advice for you, too. Doesn’t matter whether it’s company-wide layoffs, the ambiguity of a new CEO, or a disagreement between you and the guy who loads the raw-stock-machine. Employees should always be respectful to one another.

But in my life? I will break you down like a side of beef if you get on my bad side.

Sometimes it’s important to be nice. Other times, it's critical to be cynical and jaded. No matter what your perky HR lady tells you, don’t always assume good intent. Keep a smile on your face but keep your guard up.

A gap on a resume means trouble.

As a recruiter, I am suspicious of you. If you quit a job before having another job lined up, I will never hire you. The inability to “tough it out” at a bad job is the single biggest indicator of stupidity and immaturit

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Oh yeah, me? Well, I just quit a job without having another job. I like the pressure of doing something new. But I have the freedom to mess around with my life and my finances because I don’t have children and I have someone who helps me pay the mortgage. And I would never let a chumpy recruiter judge my knowledge, skills and abilities based on my resume.

Your life is probably different than mine.

Pay it forward.

When life hands you lemons, someone else is in the background making you a tall, cool glass of lemonade. Your success is rooted in the success of others. You should work hard to close the karmic loop in your life. Give back before it's even expected of you.

Meanwhile, I’m over here sulking and being selfish. When something good happens to me, I am about three days late in thanking the person who made it possible. Oops. I mean well.

(No, wait, I don’t.)

I’m working on it. There is always 2013.

I love my HR blogging brethren but I want you to remember that the best HR advisors out there are working through their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. They sound great on the internet. Their personal and professional lives are filled with long lists of mistakes and messy, confusing relationships — just like yours.

Buyer beware.

Laurie Ruettimann
Laurie Ruettimann is a former HR leader and an influential speaker, writer and marketing advisor. Her work has appeared in many mainstream print publications and major news media outlets. You can find her on twitter at @Lruettimann.