RJP = Realistic Job Preview.
So, here's the story behind the title. I'm an advocate for HR. I like the biz, and I plan on being in it the rest of my life. With that in mind, I'd like to contribute to greater good by convincing sharp people who are thinking about a career in HR that this is the profession they need to be in.
With that in mind, I've had the experience to run across someone I'll call "Kathy". Kathy's a smart person, an MBA who's still trying to figure out what she wants to do. She's had some cool jobs already, and she's recently been placed in a position on the outer edges of HR. We know each other through LinkedIn, among other professional points of contact. As part of my communication with her, some of it face-to-face based on our professions, I've told her she should consider a career in HR. She's thought about it a good bit, then came back to me this week and told me there's no way she's going into HR.
The conversation went something like this:
Kathy: I've thought a lot about it, and there's no way I can do a career in HR.
Me: Why? I thought you liked the idea. What's changed?
Kathy: Well, I went home this weekend and got HR Magazine from SHRM as part of the membership you encouraged me to do with SHRM.
Me: <cringing> And?
Kathy: I read most of the magazine, and the bottom line is that if that's the type of subject matter that is required to excel in HR, I'm not a good fit.
<five minutes of discussion goes by as I make excuses, asking her "what about the cool blogs" I turned you towards, etc.>
Me: OK, do me a favor, send me the top three observations you have about HR Magazine and how it's influenced your take on whether HR is a career for you. I need to share it.
So, here's what she sent me:
"What I learned from reading HR Magazine… Don’t work in HR. Here’s what stands out to me…
--I’ve read multiple editions of HR Magazine, and the information always sounds the same – recycled ideas, traditional thinking, dated approaches. Where is the creativity? Where’s the applicable and unbiased information that’s going to help me do my job more efficiently and effectively? Where’s the cutting-edge, making you rethink your job, question your approach, and redefine the industry ideas? Not in this magazine.
--Keeping up with employment law (yawn) and constantly changing regulations, requirements, and red tape seems too much to handle. It’s overwhelming. It’s boring. And it sounds like it would be a full-time job in and of itself. I guess I’m not jaded enough for this stuff yet. Wake up, right?
--If HR Magazine content is a reflection of a day in the life of an HR Pro – 90% employee relations and employment law, 10% recruitment and development – then I pass. I don’t want to read about how to avoid a lawsuit. I want to read about finding the best people, growing my people, and providing them with such an amazing employment experience that I don’t have to deal with a lot of ER issues. Think proactive… not reactive, HR Magazine. Naïve, I know."
I'm a SHRM member, will be for life. Fan of China Gorman and the rest of the team there - the more you get to know the people behind the curtain at SHRM, the more you realize how talented they are.
But, can we take the flagship magazine, the one that folks like this MBA look to as our beacon - our Time, our Newsweek, our Sports Illustrated, and sexy it up a little bit?
Please? I'm trying to sell this thing out there.