Article: The autobiography of an HR professional

Life @ Work

The autobiography of an HR professional

The autobiography of 'the HR professional'; a retrospection
The autobiography of an HR professional

A common perception about HR professionals within the organisation and beyond is that HR is merely responsible for creating a culture of fun


The autobiography of ‘the HR professional’ – a retrospection

When you browse for HR blogs, there are likely to be more that talk about reasons for hating HR or why HR doesn’t play the role that it’s meant to. And most often the people writing these blogs happen to have a close affiliation to HR as a professional. Then why are they in HR?

If you ask practicing HR professionals about what attracts them towards the function, the common reasons that surface are “I like working with people” or “I am a social person”. But it hardly makes any sense to choose HR if these are the top reasons for choosing HR. Wouldn’t I rather be in marketing or sales if I am so social, or for that matter in any other role since ‘working with people’ is a mandate for anyone in the corporate world today.

On the flip side, a common perception about HR professionals within the organization and beyond is that HR is merely responsible for creating a culture of fun and engagement, or to fill positions or to be the bearer of bad news in the event of a ‘right-sizing’ exercise. These are mostly transactional activities which show no real value that HR brings to business.
Often the story unfolds quite differently from the time one aspires to be a HR professional and dreams to make a lasting difference to business and the time one lands in the first job as a ‘hiring executive’. The workplace reality is that HR’s role is very transactional, and the monotony of the cycle makes it quite easy for these professionals to miss connecting the dots between HR and business. A possible way to ramble through this path is for individuals to stay connected to the one question that matters – why am I in HR?

When the common perception about HR is that of a support, reactive and cost-intensive function, what is it that still drives one to be in HR? While it is a thankless role, it is considered the spine of any organization where the absence is felt far more than its presence. I am in HR for reasons much beyond HR – it is the impact that people make to the bottom-line - reason enough for HR’s existence and therefore mine. I am in HR to influence strategies that drive the workforce in a way that affects profitability. I am in HR to maintain good human relations in the company to positively impact the employees' efficiency and consequently, the realization of the company's objectives. These are the reasons why most of us begin this journey, yet much is often lost in the monotony of its transactional nature. And thus the need to question continues – why am I in HR?

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Topics: Life @ Work, Watercooler, Strategic HR

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