Tag Archives: Networking

Steve Browne-Only the Lonely

Today we have a guest post from Steve Browne, an HR pro who I’ve recently come into contact with and have already developed a respect for. I recently joined his HR Net group, and after you hear what he has to say, you might want to do the same. Hit him up in the comments if you’d like to know more about the group. In this post, he’s sharing his thoughts on HR’s isolation and how we need to be getting out there. Enjoy!

Human Resources is one of the most fulfilling, challenging, uplifting and… lonely professions. You see, almost any position within a company has a place they can go to and vent (HR) or complain about employees (HR) or grouse about Senior Management (HR). Where can HR go?

Often it’s to a bar. I mean really! Since we are the bartenders (with no copyright infringement to Sharlyn Lauby) in our own organizations listening to every story of woe and sense of frustration from our employees about other employees, we’re just missing the long wooden bar and the stools. (That would be a cool office for HR though!)

People are tough. However, that’s why most great HR professionals are in HR! They truly are “people” people. So, where can they go?

The great voices in HR that are flooding the waves of Social Media forums such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter are sending out great messages… But, more often than not, it’s to each other and their great thoughts never reach practitioners.

Why? Continue reading

HR Ninja Course Week One

Social Media NetworkingIn an effort to bring more people to the free HR Ninja course, I’m going to go through the lessons myself and post my updates as it goes along.  Enjoy!

Weekly Topic

This week was all about networking and making connections. The final challenge of the lesson was to take advantage of the social media tools available to crank networking up beyond the ordinary “here’s-a-business-card-now-we’re-buddies.”

Weekly Challenge Continue reading

Local SHRM Chapter-3 reasons to find one and join today

This post has some ideas for why you should think about, and maybe even join, a local SHRM chapter… Enjoy!

Wouldn\’t it be nice if there was something to make this HR thing easier to do? Maybe if there was some sort of way to meet other professionals, share ideas, and trade best practice tips, then we all would feel less like we\’re treading water and more like we\’re making a difference. Wait a minute, there is a way to do that, and it\’s your local SHRM chapter!

Now, before I get into the meat of the post, I’d like to say that not all SHRM chapters are great. Some of them just plain suck. And you know what? This post may or may not be for you. If not, check back later. Or read something inspiring. On the other hand, some chapters really do rock, and this post can help you leverage that for your own career. Continue reading

How I got immediate value from joining a SHRM chapter

local shrm chapterNote: this post is not encouraging anyone to spam a group of people. It’s only a recount of my own experience. If you spam your local HR pros, you could get booted from the SHRM chapter. Fair warning!

Back in the spring of 2009, I started looking for my first HR job. While I graduated college a year earlier than that, I had to work for my employer for a year since they paid for my final semester of college. I knew that it was time to step out of the small pond and jump into the world of HR with both feet. At that time, I was working with Andrew at Jobacle as a staff writer. In a fortunate coincidence, I had interviewed JT O’Donnell for a story on the Jobacle blog, and after a brief mention that I was job searching, we began to work together. JT is a great career coach, and her company, CAREEREALISM, is the place to go if you’re a job seeker looking for help.

Within a week, an entry level HR position with a local nonprofit opened up. I went for it. I wrote a cover letter, attached my resume, and sent it to their in-house recruiter. The only problem is that I knew that everyone else who applied for the job would do that exact same thing. I had to make it better. Continue reading

Sphere of influence

As an HR professional, what is your sphere of influence?

This was one of the conversations I witnessed this past weekend as I took part in an event called HRevolution. It was an amazing event that gathered fifty HR professionals together for a closer look at social media, HR\’s role in the workplace, networking, and more. The question above was dropped during the session where the participants discussed the best ways for HR professionals to make a difference in their organizations.

Spinning wheels

For some of the participants, I got the impression that they were working furiously just to stay afloat. When you\’re spinning your wheels on a daily basis, it\’s quite difficult to see where your efforts are actually making a difference. From personal experience, I can tell you that I know what it\’s like. It can be disheartening. If you are focusing your efforts on changing a large group of people, most of them will never get enough guidance or attention to actually make a change.

Take three

One of the participants at the event, Paul Hebert of Incentive Intelligence (a brilliant writer whose work you should be reading!), gave a relatively simple answer to this problem. His solution was for HR professionals to target a small handful of people to influence. Spend your time developing and mentoring three of the best managers you have. When you have done what you can with those managers, help them to do the same for three more supervisors. You can continually focus on your core group of leaders and they can each spread that knowledge and expertise much farther than you could have if you were trying to go solo.

In an ironic sort of way, the smaller the area where you focus your efforts, the more impact you can have on your organization.

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Photo by wwworks.

Who’s Got Your Back?

When things are tough, and you can’t handle it yourself, who’s got your back? I recently heard about the premise behind Keith Ferrazzi’s new book, Who’s Got Your Back? I haven’t read the book (yet), but the concept intrigues me. Basically, people who have at least three deep, fulfilling relationships will end up more successful than those who don’t. And while that sounds like a great idea for everyone to follow, research indicates that half of Americans can’t identify a single person who fits that bill.

Think about your work relationships. Do you know someone who will stand by you through thick and thin, or have you neglected to develop a relationship of that magnitude? I encourage you to actively pursue this. When I started my current job, I felt like I was a latecomer to a party. But when another person joined our department shortly thereafter, I found the perfect opportunity to start developing that relationship that I was looking for. Now I’d gladly call that person my friend, and I know that my workday wouldn’t be the same without him.

Let’s hear your response. Have one of those relationships at work? Leave a comment and tell us what makes it special. Are you missing out on the experience? Leave a comment anyway, and maybe we can give you some help with that.

Photo by Gwennypics.

Leaders are Mentors

We can all learn from someone

We can all learn from someone

I apologize for the problem with the post this morning. Issues have been fixed. If you see anything that’s not working correctly, let me know. Thanks!

Whether purposefully or not, leaders are mentors. As the term “leaders” implies, they are usually at the forefront of the action. And the younger and/or less experienced people in the workforce look to them for guidance. What exactly is a mentor? Well, Dictionary.com gives us this short and sweet rendition:

Mentor-a wise and trusted counselor or teacher

You can mentor someone on purpose. There are formal programs that have well-developed strategic plans and goals for these relationships. You can also mentor someone informally through your daily actions. You might not even know that you’re being observed, but leaders are hard to ignore.

Want a chance to be a mentor or a mentee? Consider starting a mentor program in your organization or in your local area. Even if it’s a group of two (mentor and mentee), it’s still worth the effort if both parties have clear expectations and “feed” the relationship regularly. And if you prefer not to start your own, then check out the mentor program that NASHRM has put together.

Have tips for developing a mentor program or on how to get the most out of the relationship? Leave a comment below so everyone can learn from your experience.