Supporting Others in HR


Welcome to 2019!  With the whole new year ahead of us, it’s a great time to take a look at ourselves, and how we are going to approach this year.  If you, like me, have been in HR for quite some time, you may have more to give than you think.

Nearly three years ago, I had the opportunity to co-present at a local HR meeting, my first public speaking engagement.  (As an introvert, that was a huge step, but I have since embraced getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!) Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have many more speaking opportunities locally and nationally.  Last year, I started teaching a SHRM Certification class. Public speaking and teaching put me in the very fortunate position of regularly being in front of many HR professionals.

I am 20+ years into my HR career.  Occasionally over the years I had been asked for and had given advice. And I had asked for advice and guidance myself.  But these new endeavors put me in a position of accidental “expert,” which at first was difficult for me to embrace. ME? Why? People are asking me for advice regularly?  I’m helping to shape emerging HR professionals, and reinvigorate established HR professionals? Yes, me. And you too. We all have something to say, and we all can help others inside - and outside - our profession.  Here is what I have learned.

It is important to connect with others inside and outside HR.  Build your #HRTribe - which can and should include those outside of HR. (Mine does.)  Share your knowledge with others. Follow fellow HR practitioners on Twitter. Connect on LinkedIn.  Listen to their podcasts and watch their YouTube videos. As a bonus, you will learn something! There are many of you doing amazing work here, but perhaps none more so than Steve Browne, who seems to make it his life’s mission to encourage the #HRTribe to connect with each other.  Listen to him. You will not regret it.

You have a responsibility to give back to those seeking your help. Take that phone call. Respond to that email.  It may be very difficult for an emerging professional to have the courage to reach out.  Remember when you were in that position and extend your hand. I never turn down a LinkedIn request from a fellow HR professional.  I never fail to answer a message, email or return a phone call from an HR professional asking for advice or guidance. Do this regularly, without expecting anything at all.  As an amazing bonus, you will get much more back than you give. When you get that excited call from an HR professional who is newly certified. When you get the email from an HR professional that they were offered that job you coached them to prepare for.  When an HR professional tells you that you gave them the courage to apply to speak at a conference, and then knocks it out of the park. It feels amazing to do things for others. So do it!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help - you should never stop learning.  If you are new to HR, you should do this all the time.  It can be scary, but it is so worth it. Even if you are not new to HR, you should be continuously learning.  One of the best ways to do this is to ask for help from others. I have a wonderful community of HR Rebels in my home state of NH, and I regularly reach out to them for advice. In fact, I don’t know what I would do without this group!  

Always support.  Don’t compete. Competition can be good.  However, when it comes to the workplace, there is not always as much support as there should be.  So reach out your hand to the person who is up for the same promotion as you. Support them if they receive it.  Network with a fellow speaker or podcaster. Share their posts on social media. Go high, and stay high. Be the person you aspire to be.

Here’s to an amazing, supportive 2019!


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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