A Few Things I've Learned in my 20 years of HR


I've had the gift of a little more time lately and have been reflecting on my career thus far. I thought I'd take a moment to share what I’ve learned, what I'm celebrating, and some thoughts for the future.


Let’s start with a few things I’ve learned…


My career has provided a gift of 20 years of research on people: what lifts us up, what brings us down, where we get stuck and what really matters. It turns out, we humans aren’t as complicated as we make ourselves out to be.  Over the years, friends have asked, “What do you do all day? Hire and fire people?” Yes, there were days I focused on doing just that. However, most of the 50,000+ hours (that’s a real number!) of my career have been spent connecting with people. The frequency in which I heard people say "Rhonda, do you have 5 minutes?” was one of the ways I measured if I was doing a good job. And, out of all of those conversations across multiple countries, industries, demographics, essentially, I boil down what was on their minds to this:


1) I am not feeling valued. I don’t feel heard.

2) I feel stuck. My career is stagnating.

3) My boss and/or the company isn’t invested in my development.


I've learned that we're all essentially looking for the same thing. We want to live BRIGHT, BIG LIVES. But, some things are getting in our way:

Our environment? Yes, quite often. (Gallup reports 85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.)

People around us? Yep. 80% of employees think their boss is unnecessary (*Weston Software Survey 2017)

Ourselves? Definitely!

When we don’t feel valued or when we feel stuck, we inevitably ask ourselves: 

Do I not matter to them? Am I not enough? Don’t they think I have the skills? 

Our fears of vulnerability, judgement and failure all rise to the surface. These feelings turn into anxiety and all of a sudden we aren’t operating at our best.


Take a minute and check in with yourself now. 

Do you have anxiety floating around anywhere in your body? 

For me, when it comes to visit, it appears as a heavy ball right in my stomach. 

Where's yours? What impact is it having on you, your health and your motivation? 

And, what can you actually do about it anyway?


There is good news. You can start in a place where it’s you that’s in charge of your future. A place where you have full responsibility and accountability. It starts by looking within. 

Why would you really want to look anywhere else?  Do you really want your career, your fulfillment and your happiness left in someone else’s hands?


The most important questions we'll ever ask are the ones we need to ask ourselves. 


Here are a few questions to get you started: 

What do I really want? If I am not getting what I need, what changes can I make? 

What dreams have I still not achieved? What steps can I take today to get there? 

Until next time,