You Don’t Need A Big Title To Make Your Mark in HR…

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by Alan Collins

Confined at home during this pandemic, I find myself calling a lot of people.

A few days ago, I connected with one of the most impressive HR people I know — Amy.

We had an eye-opening conversation.

Not for her.

But for me.

Here’s what Amy told me she’s doing while imprisoned at home like the rest of us:

1. Along with her boss, she’s leading the reinvention of the labor negotiations process at her location. She’s doing Zoom meetings with the union leaders and giving phone updates to her entire senior management team, which views this as her Division’s top HR priority.

2. She said yes, when asked to be the project lead for a talent management task force.  This group is determining how to best recruit engineering talent on college campuses post-COVID-19.  This involves her working virtually with 5 different locations, with HR people who she’s only seen on a screen…but has never actually met in person.

3. She’s volunteered to do over-the-phone mentoring.  She’s counseling three “high-potential” HR folks, hired back in January, who are scared to death about their jobs and wondering if they should bolt the company to start their searches all over again.

Again, she’s doing all this — working from home  — on top of her on-going, core HR responsibilities. 

Let me tell a little bit more about Amy.

She is a newly promoted HR Manager at PepsiCo — and is buried 6 levels BELOW her HR VP on the org chart!

With just five years of HR experience, she works at one of their smallest manufacturing plants.

…And she spends a couple of hours a day studying for her SPHR certification.

I don’t know about you, but all this simply blows me away.

Clearly, Amy is a leader, even though she directly manages no one and lacks the big corporate HR title.  

But as impressive as all this is, here is what’s REALLY most impressive about her.

When I asked why she felt she needed to do all this and how it all fits into her career strategy.

She, without any hesitation, replied…

“Hey, I’ve got a lot to learn!
So, during this pandemic, I’m
 trying to SEIZE just about any
HR leadership opportunity that will
help me grow, provide visibility,
and make a difference in my
I’ll be honest. I’m also trying to do

things that will add great bullets
for my resume for the long term too.”

Go back and read the above quote again.

Why? Because in it, Amy summarizes one of the best career strategies in HR you’ll ever hear. 

It’s simple.

It’s clear.

It’s compelling.

And demonstrates how — in good times and bad — that you don’t need a great title to do great things in HR.

Now let me be clear.

I’m sure there are plenty of highly productive HR pros out there, like Amy, doing great stuff from home during this pandemic. If you’re one of them, my hat’s off to you! Keep doing what you’re doing.

However, if you’re not, here are two important questions to ask yourself: 

1. During this crisis, are there new or emerging HR projects, committees or initiatives you can step into and lead?

2. Are there HR certifications, skills or competencies you can build on during this time?

Your answers to these questions could well determine the trajectory of your HR career.

Crisis like the one we’re in provide the perfect opportunity to boost your value to your current organization and provide valuable experience you wouldn’t otherwise attain. 

That said, there’s probably nothing I’ve said so far you’d disagree with.

But, let me throw you a little curve ball… Continue reading here…

Source: Success in HR

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