I’ve been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy lately. Those of you who know me, know I am the world’s biggest Netflix fan, mainly because it’s 8 bucks a month (no I do not pay for DVDs I know I will lose) but also because it’s awesome. In any case, while I work, I keep the shows on for noise and interest (so obviously I can’t pick anything too interesting or heavy). ANYWAY, in the show at least, those people save lives. And their work is all very important when they are not being highly inappropriate with one another in the on-call room.
I watch as these decidedly maudlin characters sacrifice spouses, children, friendships and lovers for “the job” and it makes my late night PowerPoint (cough, Keynote, cough) sessions seem a little less important, a little more “petty”. As a woman I will forever quote once said in the dentist’s office (loudly into her cell) “It ain’t BRAIN science!” No, no it’s not.
It’s not rocket science.
It won’t save a life.
Very few in our industry will be lauded in the history books, if any. But I came back to this work because it means something to me. And I think it means something to a lot of other people too. At least the folks I see sticking around year after year, not just at the big splashy conferences, but here in Omaha, Nebraska, quietly working to make a change in the world of work. It might not SAVE a life, but finding your calling can CHANGE a life, which when you think about it, is pretty cool.
This hit me loud and clear when I walked up to a table at a party recently and heard “…and until I talked to Maren I had no idea what HR was all about…” I almost whipped my iPhone and began recording. What happened over the next few minutes was nothing short of awesome! I got to see HR through the eyes of the uninitiated (by the way, we look crazy and a little mean) and I felt I’d done the woman some real good, not only in finding her an amazing job but giving her tips to become a rockstar just by sharing what the most blase of us think is old news on the conference circuit.
Nobody knows what we do. Very few care. Somewhere in that subset are people who care and don’t know. So don’t write that post about a new tool because you don’t want to sound behind. Forget about your opinion of that new book all your friends are panning. Just stay silent about social recruiting because it’s been like four years already. Go ahead “position” yourself. But you’re not doing anyone any good. There are thousands of HR Practitioners out there who have never heard of the concepts we’re whining about being overexposed to. Because they can’t go to conferences because they are WORKING. There are thousands (millions) of candidates who don’t know that your software can help them find a better job or your app can map their talent graph or whatever.
Call em. Write about it. Tell someone at a party. Get passionate.
It ain’t brain science.