… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Guest Blogger! Moving beyond minion-hood in HR

Today, we have a very special Advice for Minions post for all my darling minions out there. Ben Eubanks of Upstart HR is going on a guest blogging blitz because, well, he’s hopped up on Diet Mountain Dew and M&M’s so what else is he going to do with all that crazy energy? I’m kidding, I’m kidding…maybe. Anyway, Ben is all kinds of awesome and so is his guest post, which starts… Now!

Disclaimer: Being the HR Minion is cool. Being a random HR minion isn’t cool.

Minion -A loyal servant of another, usually more powerful being. While there is only one HR Minion, there are “little” HR minions everywhere. In fact, I’m one of them. I do my master’s bidding and shuffle around like I have a grand purpose. My real (secret) purpose? Overcoming my status as a minion.

In recent weeks, I’ve been having trouble accepting my seemingly inevitable fate. I am working like mad just to stay in one place. My efforts are barely keeping me afloat in forms, letters, and files. My little internal voice tells me that I don’t want to do this forever. I want to be good at HR. I want to make a difference. Sure, everyone needs to have a file and they should be updated every seven minutes and blah, blah, blah. It’s sometimes hard to be positive when you can see how the next week/month will be played out before it ever arrives. I’ve committed myself to moving beyond minion-hood, and here is how it’s going to happen.

At Work

I’m going to take a sharp knife and… Wait, I can just do it mentally. I’m going to carve my time into pieces specifically dedicated to certain tasks. Google has the resources to offer employees 20% of their time as a way to participate in self-directed projects. I don’t expect to get that much time, but I’d settle for just 10% of time to dedicate to learning, networking, and working on projects I have a personal interest in. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “How can I get 10% of my time back?” Most of us spend that much time surfing, tweeting, chatting with coworkers, etc. during the week. If not, then you’re considerably under the average, and you’ll have to make it happen using the next suggestion.

Beyond Work

The day job is maxed out. It’s time to go beyond. Find a cause you’re interested in. Everyone has some type of skills that can be useful to someone. Whether you’re coordinating a networking event or writing a blog, your time away from the day job can be as valuable as (if not more than) your actual work in regards to professional growth.

Here’s a relatively simple example. Unless you’re living in Botswana or Lithuania, you probably have a local SHRM chapter (or some other local leadership/professional organization). If you don’t know where else to go for professional development outside the workplace, this is a great way to start. There are committees for every conceivable function in the organization, and you can happily settle yourself where you’re most comfortable. It will help you to network with local professionals and build your own skills at the same time.

So, while this post may have started writing this in a frenzy, you now realize that there are ways to move past the life of a minion. You never know when that one activity (whether inside the office or out) will pay off in the long run.

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