You know what kills HR?
A lack of self-direction.
At Kemper Insurance, I was promoted from a recruiter to a regional HR manager. I had to lay off several hundred people, which was totally sad. I had no idea what I was doing. I asked my CHRO, “Where’s the checklist?”
She said, “You are the checklist. I pay you to figure this out.”
Yikes, okay. Not intimidating. Not at all.
I was smart, though. I was working on my SPHR, which empowered me in a strange way and made me fearless. I told myself, “You got this, Laurie.”
So I got down to business, developed an internal network of colleagues who knew about payroll + benefits + pensions + basic legal stuff, and I figured it out.
The only way I learned how to “practice” human resources was by talking to other nerds, rolling up my sleeves, and trusting my instincts. Throughout my entire career, I realized that I couldn’t get HR wrong because no one else was doing it right.
- Change your attitude. Whatever you think you can do, you can do.
- Whatever scares you is exactly what you should be doing. Conquering your fear gives you the edge in HR.
- If there is someone out there who could do it better than you, he would be doing it. You are it.
When your skills are a little weak and you are new to a task, confidence and self-direction are the keys to getting it done.
And once you learn something new, teach someone else how to do it!