Time to Reignite !!

Many people are trying to shake the winter doldrums in the hope that spring will renew them. This happens every year and is very predictable behavior. Instead of enjoying the season we’re in, we keep looking forward to a rebirth in the next season to come. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the thaw that is finally upon us and am glad to see the snow start to dissipate.

I think many HR pros look at their career with the same anticipation they have with the changing of the seasons. There seems to be a push that ANYTHING would be better than the situation they currently find themselves facing. There is also a feeling of professional isolationism because they feel that no one is experiencing the levels of disgust, frustration and angst that they are. When I hear stories of despair I get concerned. I’m concerned because if that is how you are approaching your role, it will reflect in your performance and with the employees that work alongside you.

There are seemingly countless stories and sentiments of HR pros who are just flat burnt out. They can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  In fact, all they see is the tunnel and it keeps getting deeper and darker. This isn’t healthy in any way whatsoever. Why would you continue to go back to a difficult HR environment just to be a martyr everyday?

It’s time for HR practitioners to come to terms with a reality in our careers. There is only one person who’s responsible for how Human Resources is in your role and that’s YOU !! Your career may be influenced by others around you, but in the end, you are the only person who can impact who you are and what you do.

Has the fire gone out for you?  Or, has the fire consumed you and eaten away at what you think HR should be in your company?

Lit Matches in a rowTake a different approach intentionally and reignite the fire of passion around Human Resources !! Everyday you have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the people around you and also add value to the growth and success of your company. You can, and must, be the model of making this happen in your culture. Believe me when I say that this isn’t a pep talk to motivate you.  Motivation is internal and you alone can build that energy up. You could spice in a great rock tune, say something from AC/DC, to get you jacked up, but this isn’t a peak and valley approach. Once your passion is reignited, you need to fan the flame so that others around you start catching this fire.

I’ve recently been talking with some friends who either just changed HR roles, or want to. In every case they expressed that they want an HR role where they can flourish and make a difference in what they do. This needs to be the expectation of everyone in HR !!  The conversations I had weren’t somber or melancholy. They were a chance to share some encouragement and give them a nudge to no longer settle for mediocrity in what they do. The companies they work(ed) for didn’t view HR in a positive, integrated and broad way. That’s fine if companies want to limit HR – but YOU don’t have to be a part of that !!

People wonder if my level of passion and excitement is some shtick for some on-line persona. You can trust me, it’s not. It took me several years to understand that HR can be on fire all the time. It also took some searching to find a role and a company that was as passionate and excited about what they did so that this ignited form of HR could grow and exist.

So, if you’re burnt out – rekindle !! If you’re an ember that’s just barely holding on and smoldering – add fuel and energy !!  If you’re in a role where HR cannot be exciting and passionate, then maybe it’s time to find a place that let’s you rock it out !! Reignite yourself and radiate great HR in all that you say and do !! It’s really the only way to practice.

7 thoughts on “Time to Reignite !!”

  1. Agreed, Steve! Yet I’ll also proclaim this is true for anyone in any role. Everyone needs to rekindle if they’re burnt out! Great lesson for all, so thanks for sharing your passion.

  2. There are so many reasons Steve, why I love this article. Not because I delight in hearing about caring practitioners and leaders who are very nearly broken (or best case scenario, disillusioned and angry) but because it is encouraging to know I’m not alone.Imagine if there was a way to allieviate this sense of terrible isolation?

    Certainly your community, writing and those of countless others are more than the start. But indeed I believe HR’s plight is not the problem, it is the symptom of something bigger and more insidious. Unless you are a clinical psychopath, no one goes to work to be an a****hole. Really, they don’t. Certainly many of us have lost touch or perspective but that doesn’t make us bad or beyond redemption. I’ve been conducting indepth research for 18 months now and I’ve found a possible answer. It’s an upward climb but it can be done – together. I’ll be writing about it progressively over the coming 2 months and I hope to share it with HRNet. Keep on keeping on! You ARE making a difference! Vanessa Wiltshire

  3. What people read hear is not an on-line persona. I can attest to that!! Only someone who would call himself “Czar” could do something like misrepresent themselves online.

  4. Love the analogy. Needless to say I ‘ve been ignited for many years, you and others keep me there, just on the back burner!

  5. Thank you Steve! It is so refreshing to read this as I have felt the burn out. Many organizations see HR as a road block and not the support system that it is. It is encouraging to hear your thoughts and reminds me why I choose HR.

  6. You preached the truth, Steve. So many times I am reminded how my energy (or lack there of) is contagious. Something to take stock of and recommit to, every day!

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