It sure is hard out there these days for HR pros. Changing laws, an increasingly diverse workforce, and the sometimes near constant pressure to do more with less. Sure, you love what you do, and you can’t say this isn’t an exciting time to be in HR, but it can be downright exhausting. So it got me thinking, what are the things every HR pro needs to effectively take on the world, all the while keeping their sanity?
Yes, it’s list time people! (Otherwise known as the lazy bloggers answer to the pressure of producing yet another post on schedule)
Here are my top 10 things every HR Pro needs:
1. The best internet cat videos available. Honestly, I think this is a given. What in the world did we do before internet cat videos? It was dark times indeed for those poor brave HR souls. SAIL kitty is my personal favorite right now.
2. A door with a lock. Leaving the necessity of securing confidential documents aside, sometimes you need to have a barrier between you and the rest of the company. You know, for when you need a good cry, a nap, and a chance to watch internet cat videos undisturbed. You get it.
3. An awesome work playlist. Some people like gentle meditative music while they are working, some need angry rock music to get the blood pumping. Whatever your preference, sometimes all you need is to put on your headphones and power through that stack of applications, mindless data entry, or while you prepare for that 401k audit.
4. A chance to let loose. Whether it’s happy hour after work with your team or getting down at an HR conference after party, every HR pro needs to have some time to let loose with the only bunch of people who truly understand them: Other HR pros. Just remember, badges and phones off before you start downing those shots of Patron.
5. A good way to relax. This can be almost anything as long as it lowers your blood pressure and helps you achieve your own moment of zen. Yoga, kickboxing, massages, baking, reading, needlepoint, and even adult coloring books are just some of the many activities I turn to when I need to escape to a happy place. Hobbies are good for your mental well being.
6. A co-worker who likes to bake. Never underestimate the simple joy of a home baked treat. It can turn your whole day around. And it can’t hurt your sense of job security if you happen to be that co-worker who bakes. “We can’t get rid of Mary, she’s the one who makes those delicious apple bars that everyone is addicted to.” That’s totally how these things are decided, right?
7. A candy jar. Continuing the food theme, candy jars are like magic talismans. Have a management team who never talks to HR? Well, everyone loves to come visit the person with the candy. Load up on some peanut butter cups and M&M’s and pretty soon people will be making up reasons to stop by. And as I’ve blogged about before, I’m not opposed to bribery. Sometimes you gotta make it rain Kit Kats to get stuff done.
8. A variety of sources for your professional development. It’s never a good idea to rely on any one resource when it comes to staying on top of your HR game. The more diverse your sources of knowledge, the stronger you will be. That means looking to blogs, books, classes, seminars, mentors, travel and even pop culture if necessary. Well rounded HR people are not afraid to challenge themselves.
9. A Coach bag. Just kidding, I can’t help but trot out random stereotypes about HR ladies every now and then just to see if you’re paying attention. And anyway, I hear Kate Spade has been the hot bag lately. Here’s the latest one I’ve been lusting after.
10. A sense of humor and a subversive mindset. These are critical traits for sure. I don’t know how you can survive in HR if you aren’t willing to shake things up and aren’t able to find the humor in all the crazy. HR shouldn’t just be about policies and cat sweaters, we occupy too important a place in the world of work to take ourselves too seriously.
Now that you are a properly equipped HR Pro, you should feel ready to take on anything. I’ll be right there with you, I just need to finish watching this video of a cat eating with chopsticks.