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

Burned out

I’m tired. Like bone deep exhausted, pain in your heart kind of tired. An almost perpetual ball of anxiety feels like it has been lodged in my abdomen and it is unbelievably draining to fight it all the time. To not let it affect your mood, to not let it affect your behavior or how you treat others. This is not a battle I have been winning. For the past month or so more often than not I end the day tired and feeling like an ass.

And this, all of it, has lead me to one inescapable conclusion: I’m burned out. I don’t want to be in the HR trenches anymore. I’m done.


It would be easy to blame this solely on the frustrations I’ve faced in the last month and a half. After all, my first HR job out of college almost drove me away from the profession altogether so it’s not like I don’t know how a bad fit in one place makes you question your career choices overall. But I know that these feelings are older than the present. For a long time now I have been wanting to move on, knowing that the HR Generalist path wasn’t the one I really wanted. I figured out years ago that I had no desire to be an HR Manager/HR Director/CHRO but I guess I thought a Generalist role would be enough. It isn’t.

But that leaves me with a conundrum and it certainly doesn’t ease any of that anxiety. I already set a goal for myself this year to make a career change; I’m just moving faster than I thought I would be. But what do I do? I don’t hate HR and I don’t want to waste my knowledge, skills, and experience.

As it stands, I see 3 options:

1. Recruiting. My first entry into HR was recruitment and it’s still one of my favorite things. The saddest part of being a generalist is that I never had the time or resources to really enjoy it. It would be awesome to be able to focus on it completely again.

2. Training & Development. I’ve always loved training and helping employees grow their career is intrinsically rewarding. It’s a real passion of mine so any role where I got to do that all day would be awesome.

3. A game changer. This is the one option that is both exciting and unknown. It requires me to stretch myself and my skills and go for something new. This is the one where I’d even be willing to take a step back for in order to take a different path. A job with a vendor? Learning how to be a consultant? Or something I haven’t even considered yet. It’s definitely something I’ve been flirting with the past few years.

It’s a big world out there and I have a lot of time left in my career, even if I don’t seem to have a lot of time to initiate this big of a change. Uh oh, that is kind of bringing back some of that anxiety, but in a good way though.

And this is where you all come in. This blog has played a pivotal role in my HR career. It has connected me with friends, jobs, and a sense of community. I am a better HR professional because of you. I know a lot of you out there have gone through big changes like this and I would appreciate any advice you could give.

What do you do when everything you worked towards is no longer satisfying and you are finally ready to take the next big leap?

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2 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Steve Browne :

    Shauna – I appreciate your candor and willingness to be open and express, what I feel, many struggle with. I believe EVERYONE in HR should manage their career !! I applaud you for taking the “next big step” – where ever it may lead. No matter what you choose, you will ROCK it because you have so much to offer the world !! I’ll be watching, and if I can help in any way, let me know.

  • 2 Shauna :

    Thanks so much Steve! I appreciate the support!