In the past few days, I’ve had conversations with several friends in the HR field about creativity. I have spent an inordinate amount of time lately just thinking of ideas. That’s all. Just thinking. Pondering. Brainstorming. Plumbing the depths of my cranium for some idea that’s just out of reach. And the reason that I started all of the creative thinking? I enjoy it.
Now, with all of the responsibilities we have on a daily basis, doing something simply for the enjoyment is is a rarity. But it’s a wonderful process to let your mind wander around an ironclad problem, knocking here and there until a weak point is found in the rationale and the idea starts to take form. I truly enjoy the process of coming up with ideas.Â One of the reasons why is because I know that I’ll never have enough time to complete all of them. I often wondered why people would give perfectly good ideas to others instead of taking advantage of them. Now I realize that giving away ideas has multiple benefits. It helps you to see new answers for your own issues, it helps someone else solve a problem, and it builds goodwill between you and the recipient.
Back to the conversations–I have been accused of being bold and innovative. I really am just being myself! I’m still young in the profession, and I take advantage of my enthusiasm at every opportunity. However, I never, ever want to lose the fire in my belly. So, how can you keep from losing that spark?Â What can keep you from falling into the drudgery of daily life and help you rise above the grinding dullness that some of us face?Â There are a lot of new HR professionals who read this blog, and they would all like to know how to stay on top of their game.
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For me, it was two things:
1. Figuring out what energized me, and then making sure I got doses of that at regular intervals. For me, that was coaching senior management and recruiting. I really enjoyed those two parts of HR the most, so I made sure that I never strayed too far from them. If I was nose-deep in open enrollment, for example, I made sure I connected with those senior managers on a regular basis, so I could have those meaningful conversations. If I was on an interim director gig and consumed by re-writing the handbook, I made sure I got involved in recruiting too, so I could recharge my battery. You have to know where your recharger is, and then plug in often.
2. Getting out long before I got to be one of those cranky HR people who hates employees. I can’t imagine doing HR (or anything else) for the entire 45 years I expect to be working. We all know HR people who should have gotten out sooner and didn’t, and now spend their days stinking up the place. I never want to be one of those. Maybe I’ll go back to HR and maybe I won’t, but I’m glad I left while I still liked it.
1) Fantastic advice. I’m still trying to decide exactly what it is (besides just thinking) :-D I enjoy the most. The recharge/plug in metaphor is perfect!
2) Agree wholeheartedly! Can’t imagine doing this for that long, even though I enjoy it very much. There’s only so many things you can see before you become numb, I think. *shrug*
Thank you for the input!
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Great post Ben. One of the best ways I’ve found to “keep the fire in my belly” is to surround myself with innovators. I’m lucky enough to have a few great friends who are constantly striving for more and who are never content with the status quo. We talk to each other, inspire each other, kick each other in the butt when needed and help each other.
Some people aren’t as blessed as I am in the friendship department, but that’s ok. People can still find inspiration through books, videos, blog posts and coaching. I have great friends, but I still look to all those resources for inspiration too!
Thanks for the comment, Alicia. Having a group of people ready to encourage and challenge you is a fantastic way to keep yourself sharp (iron sharpening iron).
Dude, here’s my 2 cents: you’ve got fire or you don’t. If you got it (which you do), and you want to stay on top of your game, then:
Learn your craft. Don’t learn tricks of the trade, learn the trade. Read, listen to, converse with those whose expertise you admire, but also study those you disagree with. You don’t know what right looks like, if you don’t know what wrong looks like.
Never quit. Quitting is for suckers. If you are willing to let others get you down, then get out of H.R., get out of the work force period. Only you control you. So, stoke the fire in your belly, no one else can.
Wow, Puf! That’s an amazing analysis. I want to keep fanning my flame, and I do that by interacting with others and bringing their ideas to fruition. Thanks for laying it on the line, amigo!
One of the main researchers studying creativity is a woman by the name of Anne Cummings. Google her name along with ‘creativity’ and it should give you a good starting point.
Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Will do. I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration. I know everyone’s excited to see you build your own blog. Shoot me an email if I can ever help!
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