“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first,
the lesson afterwards. - Vernon Saunders Law

In order to be in HR (or any field or career mind you) you need to approach everything like a 1 yr old.

  1. Crawl, Walk, and then Run – Whether you start out as a specialist, a generalist or in a rotation from one area to another, don’t fool yourself into thinking you know everything. You don’t. Ask for help, get advice, and practice. Be willing to start out from scratch. You’ll get better as you go along.
  2. Be Curious – Simple enough? Learn about your job and field, but also be willing to understand and get to know the business, its people and customers. This is one thing that may single-handedly make you valuable to all those around you.
  3. Learn and try new things – You won’t be able to get better if you don’t try new things. Like a one year old, you start out with nothing. As you get older you learn from your mistakes and understand that without mistakes, you can’t move toward perfection. However, you’ll never be perfect. With that you have to…
  4. Play with others – Interaction is one of the key aspects of life. You can’t learn or do everything in your own silo. You don’t always have to play well, at least get in the sandbox and play with others.
  5. Follow the Rules | Break the Rules - You will need to create policy. You may have to enforce rules. However, while you need to follow those rules and help people understand them, remember to know which rules can be overstepped and broken. This is the one reason that many people have a negative perception of Human Resources. We could clean up that perception.
  6. Change Clothes - You may have that favorite pair of pants you like to wear all the time. That great shirt “World’s greatest lil’ trucker,” but there comes a time when you have to grow up and change from the clothes that are comfortable to a new outfit. For Human Resources or any career you choose, it means trying new functions like a generalist to recruiting,, sourcing and strategy. Maybe even learning a different part of the business. The thing is you have to be willing to learn new areas so you can move up over and on to new things! There comes a time when you have to adjust that crib to a day bed and on to a toddler bed and so on. Don’t lock yourself in!
  7. Be willing to say Uh-Ohhhh – You have to know you will make mistakes. All those mistakes will not be your fault. Some will be all because of you. Say Uh-Ohhh, point and let the grown-ups know. Learn from them and do better.
  8. You can cry – It’s OK to get frustrated. Times are tough and you can’t keep the emotion out of what you do at all times. You can cry for yourself and even in your empathy for others (although you may want to do it amongst close friends… it might get awkward in the boardroom).
  9. Poop your pants – Hey _ _ IT happens! Sometimes you just have to give up control. Let go and realize that poop happens. You can’t stop it but you can always clean up the mess. Don’t fool yourself; we have all done it at least once. However, not everyone knows how to clean it up and start over!

    And Finally…

  10. Have a birthday and turn 2, 3… 7… 12 and so on – We all have to grow up. There comes a time when you have to move on to the next level. Many people have years of experience (some experience is 10 years and others have the first year of what they learned repeated 10x). Don’t get stuck thinking the same way about everything. Life is about changes and growth. If you stop growing and changing, then you’re dead. I don’t think you want to be dead just yet… do you? Um yeah, right.

I could go on for much longer with more detailed steps and paragraphs but let’s just keep it simple. I mean, we’re all adults… aren’t we?

So do you agree, disagree? Am I full of poop? What do you think about this analogy?

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