Human Resource Professional Day 2019 | Spotlight: Paul LaLonde

September 26 is #HumanResourceProfessionalDay. 

Every day, HR professionals positively impact the lives of employees in workplaces around the world and contribute to the business strategy that allows their organizations to compete, grow and thrive. 

We asked our bloggers to share their HR stories.


Why did you choose a career in HR?

I chose HR because of the unique opportunity to influence all areas of an agency. When done right, an HR professional can add so much value to an organization from front line staff to the c-suite. Whether is coaching, leadership development, benefits administration, diversity and inclusion initiatives, the profession is so diverse. There's something new to learn and apply all the time!

What has been the most rewarding part of your HR career?

One of my favorite things about being an HR professional is having opportunities to coach and develop staff -- to identify key skills and traits and place people in positions to win based on that. I have a passion for education and learning. I've had many opportunities to work with staff to bring out the best in them and challenge them to grow in ways they didn't think were possible. Seeing people grow and develop is so rewarding!

Why would you recommend a career in HR to students or those looking to transfer into the HR profession from another field?

HR is going through an exciting change and is positioned to grow in influence. If you follow the history of the profession, it's transforming from mostly transactional to strategic. There will always be a need for transactional HR, but those in leadership positions are realizing the strategic value of HR and investing or reinvesting in their HR departments. The future of the profession looks so bright and dynamic! I am jazzed about being part of it.

What advice can you share with others who are planning a career in HR?

First, be yourself. It sounds pretty cliche and easy, but it can be tough at times, especially when outside forces put pressure on you. Piggybacking off that, secondly, grow your network! Your network is one of the most important things you can invest in. Your connections will pick you up, be your sounding board, and provide you with amazing advice and support. Networking is NOT about finding a new job - although it can lead to that over time. Investing in your network is about building a mutually beneficial support system, and in some cases, many of these individuals become your extended family! Finally, be open-minded and persistent. There's going to be setbacks, but don't let them stop you, and always keep your mind a beginner's mind. Don't fall trap to "expertise-ism." Your way can work, but it doesn't mean it's the only way! Take risks and just move forward. Eventually, good things WILL happen!



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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