As I have navigated the storms of life, you know the ones …divorce, raising teenagers, losing someone you love, new careers……my Mom would always say to me…. Tammy maybe not right now, but one day “mark my words” when the storm has passed you will be filled with gratitude for the glittering brilliance of sunshine the storm left behind for you!
I discovered as I got older that whatever prediction followed my Mom’s “mark my words” would usually become a reality for me????
So, what does that have to do with becoming an HR Manager?
It all started when I decided to leave a career I loved in the midst of a life storm….19 years with the same company, was this all there is? Could I do more? Am I missing out on something?
I decided to make a change and the universe created an opportunity for me to take a new role at another company. I quickly discovered that this new place was not for me and for the first time in my life quit a job without having another job to go to…
The black clouds of this new life storm were swirling around me and without the benefit of a glimpse of the sunshine in sight. The majority of the over 60,000 thoughts we have each day were creating a broken record inside my head with a theme song “What have you done”? “Are you crazy”?
You left the security and comfort of a career that you loved and now…you don’t even have a job! You are going to end up a bag lady!
I ran as quickly as the winds of this storm could carry me…straight to my Mom…. And poured out my storm story of woe with tears running down my cheeks.
Tammy, she said, one day when this storm of change has passed ‘mark my words’ you are going to look back and see that this was the best decision you have ever made….
And of course, she was right!
I landed a role at a start-up company and I was hired on as a Human Resource Manager.
Here’s the thing up until that point I had spent my entire career in operational roles in the operational side of business. I was known as a skilled operational strategist you got a problem, I got a solution, you need a result I will give it to you…
Honestly, I thought, how hard can this HR thing be…I have been leading people my entire career.
It was hard…I no longer had that direct contact with people, my own people and the ability to support them in their day to day achievement of tasks.
As the HR Manager, I had to find a way to achieve results through not only the people but through their leadership team who did not report to me. I quickly discovered that I had to provide them tools that would work and the training that would provide both the managers and their people and environment in which they could feel successful in.
Then there was the job of convincing reluctant managers that the time employees spent in training would add value and results to their departments.
As an HR manager, you are required to fulfill many roles in all of your employee’s daily work life:
A director of the 3P’s, A motivator, A cheerleader, A supplier of tools and knowledge, A change navigator, A sounding board, A mediator, maybe even A therapist just to name a few………
You are privy to and touch upon some of the most sensitive topics in a person’s life. And at times you are viewed as the complaint department or even the police department as you balance company policy, rules and external regulations and legislation.
And in the midst of all this, you are tasked with ensuring that the company values, vision, and mission are all reflected in your corporate culture.
To do all this when faced with many different types and styles of people. If you have ever participated in a personality profile it becomes evident that we are all different. Honestly, did we really need that personality profile to know that?
But here’s the glittering brilliant sunshine……that Human Resource Manager role taught me to focus on how we are all the same as people instead of how we are all different…. It pushed me to think outside the box, to find unique ways to build environments for people to be successful in. It forced me outside my own comfort zones and created an environment for me to experience the type of success that made me truly believe in myself, in my own value.
And as I sit here today in the midst of another life storm…. Having left a very comfortable and well-paying career as a Chief Administrative Officer to take on the role of an Entrepreneur, a Business Owner…. Knowing that I can no longer run to my Mom and tell her my life storm tale of woe in person…. I instead look up to the sky and listen carefully for my Mom’s prediction. I can hear her beautiful, comforting voice saying, Tammy, ’mark my words’ when you see the glittering brilliance of the sunshine after this storm of change has passed you will realize this is the best decision you have ever made!
And you know what? My Mom is always right!