Sign Up - Newsletter
Join Now

Embracing Humility: Navigating HR as a Constant Learner

hr career hr leader hr learner humility Apr 16, 2024

 Cindy Johnson, Co-Founder of Tag4HR

I recall a time when I had just a few years of HR experience, yet felt seasoned in my HR role, brimming with confidence. However, I was swiftly thrust into unfamiliar territory (this happens every day in HR right?!). Suddenly I found myself tasked with managing payroll. Then I encountered a situation involving an older worker, and I had to give her feedback about her personal hygiene. And then, I was asked to create a strategic sales team spanning five cities. And it goes on and on. Unexpected projects and issues are par for the course in HR.

These (surprise!) projects and issues arise when working in HR, and what’s interesting is that no two issues or projects are the same! Nevertheless, I realized I could leverage my past experiences to navigate the current challenges in order to handle, the best way I could, what was in front of me.

Well, welcome to the dynamic world of Human Resources!

If you're new to this field, it's perfectly normal to feel a little lost amidst the sea of information and responsibilities. Here's the first golden nugget of wisdom for you: it's absolutely okay not to have all the answers right away. In fact, it's even better to acknowledge that you're still learning and growing. After 30 years in HR – I don’t know it all.

So, take a deep breath and let's delve into some essential principles for navigating your journey in HR.

Honesty is Key

First things first: honesty. It might be tempting to put on a facade of confidence and pretend to know everything, but the truth is, no one expects you to have all the answers from day one. Embrace your beginner status with humility. If you don't know something, don't be afraid to admit it. Honesty builds trust, both with your colleagues and yourself.

Focus on Execution

Instead of worrying about what you don't know, focus on what you can do. Be reliable and follow through on your commitments. Consistently delivering results will speak volumes about your capabilities, regardless of your level of experience. Take each task as an opportunity to learn and improve.

Cultivate your Support Community

Building a community of experts around you is invaluable. Surround yourself with knowledgeable peers and mentors who can guide you along the way. Don't hesitate to reach out for help or advice when you need it. Remember, there's strength in collaboration, and no one succeeds alone.

Embrace Curiosity

Curiosity is the fuel that drives continuous learning. Stay curious and open-minded. The world of HR is vast and ever-evolving, with new challenges and opportunities presenting themselves constantly. Be eager to explore new ideas, technologies, and best practices. What you don't know yet is just waiting to be discovered.

Invest in Yourself

Never stop investing in your own growth and development. I know it’s tough when you have a full plate – all the time. Block time on your calendar to seek out opportunities to build your skill sets, whether through formal training programs, workshops, or simply learning on the job. Take ownership of your professional development journey and be proactive in seeking feedback from both within and outside the business.

Embrace the Journey, Shape your Success

In conclusion, being new to HR is not a limitation; it's an exciting beginning. Embrace the journey, knowing that every challenge you face is an opportunity to learn and grow. Stay true to yourself, focus on execution, cultivate a strong support network, remain curious, and invest in your own development. Remember, you have the power to shape your own success in this dynamic field.

So, fellow HR Heroes, let's embark on this adventure together with enthusiasm, humility, and a willingness to learn. The path ahead may be challenging, but with the right mindset and support system, there's no limit to what we can achieve. Here's to the journey ahead!