Re-Entry Is A Bitch

I’ve been off the blog grid for a long time. Why? These words come to mind: Life. Work. Focus. Depletion. Writer’s block. Fatigue. Apathy. Boredom. Regurgitation. Extra-work.

My soul—not my brain—my soul needed some quiet… at least some fraction of quiet in a very busy life. Life sucker-punched me and the grief I covered up with work finally forced itself front and center. My creativity was gone. Which was yet another thing I had to grieve, too.

But then—as always—energies and intentions change. Events happen that make our priorities shift. Grief lifts, work doesn’t stink, sleep returns and out of the blue, when you are brushing your teeth, or picking out hummus at the grocery store, or trying on jeans, you have an idea that invigorates you, if even just for 5 minutes.

And things that made you happy before might not be quite the same, but do return.  In my case, re-entering the Fistful Of Talent world is something that again invigorates me and makes me happy. So here I am literally jumping back in.

But I have to admit I’m nervous. What am I doing? Re-entry is such a bitch:

  • What if the readers and bloggers think I’m a hack?
  • What if my creativity leaves again?
  • What if Kris Dunn, the Fistful founder (yes, that sounds weird), thinks I’ve got crap to say?
  • What if I don’t feel as snarky as before?
  • What if snarky is out of vogue?
  • What if snarky isn’t even a word anymore?
  • What if I’ve lost it?
  • What if the HR space has changed too much?
  • What if nobody likes me?
  • What if I fail?

And there it is.

  • Same as at work.
  • Same for the person who loses a job and starts another.
  • Same as the person that is responsible for a new project, product or team.
  • Same as the person at work, who’s been there for 10 years, who hates their job but is stuck.
  • Same as the person who loves their job but the work’s escalated beyond their depth.
  • Same as the person who, too, has been sucker-punched by life but has to keep it all together.

Talented HR pros: Re-entry at work takes many forms. Help your employees navigate these changes. How?

  • Ask Questions.
  • Listen.
  • Redirect.
  • Empathize.
  • Let them fail fast if necessary.
  • If their work is bad—tell them.
  • If their work is good—tell them.
  • If their work is great—tell them.
  • Most importantly, be patient within reason. Then be reasonable.

Eventually the answers in their own time become clear. And if you’ve supported them correctly, you’ll have a work partner for life, even if it’s not at your current company.

FOT Background Check

Dawn Burke
Dawn Burke (PHR) is VP of People at DAXKO. That's right - the very DAXKO that our very own KD is an alum of because there are only so many people (okay, just one) in the big B'ham who are worthy of that VP of People title. Dawn would be it. Former actor/singer/retail guru, her HR career has spanned the last decade. A true Generalist she’s done a little bit of everything, but recruiting and training is where she gets her mojo. She's based in the good 'ole blogging capitol of the south, Birmingham, Alabama, where you can frequently find her listening to the Beatles and REM, watching tons of Sex in the City reruns, drinking copious amounts of coffee and wine, and wondering how in the world this theatre grad ever got into football or HR…. Talk to Dawn via emailLinkedIn, or Twitter...


  1. Disgruntled Mime says:

    Welcome back! Yes, snarky is still a word, but we need to talk about your TPS reports. I’m gonna need you to come in on Sunday. M’kay? Great…. thanks!

  2. Dawn Burke says:

    Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…..

  3. I thought the title of the post was “Rear Entry Is A Bitch” that’s why I clicked on it.

    In any case, good to have you back.



    • Dawn Burke says:

      You mean you didn’t click solely on the merit of my good name???!!! That being said, I think I’ve got many other HR posts that would fit nicely in your title. And glad to be back.

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