HR and being a Mum!

Home work life balance

I haven’t written a post for a very long time – life has taken over and as I come back to putting pen to paper (well fingers to the keyboard) I find myself reflecting on the two major strands of my life and the transferable skills between them both….what I am talking about here is what is similar between working in HR and being a Mum.  I am NOT claiming to be an expert at either but the following help me.

  •  Resilence  I am doing what some people would call “having my cake and eating it”.  I am working full time and bring up two wonderful children.  It’s not easy but then no one said it would be.  Any parent knows you need resilience to deal with the 5am “Mum, I’m not sleepy any more!!!” or the “its not faaaaiiirrrrr!”.  Any HR practicioner can also tell you that it takes resilience to deal with the employee who cannot see the reason in your approach or when the ET lands on your desk and you know its spurious.   You need to make sure you build in things that top up your ability to cope.  Take time to enjoy the bits of both work and home life that give you that extra energy to go on.  For me I also need to ensure I sleep.
  • Step Back I know that it sounds so patronising to say “count to ten” but it works.  There are occasions in parenting where taking a miniute before answering can be more than valuable.  “Mummy how do babies get into your tummy” was a question my son posed to me that illustates this point beautifully.  I stopped and thought before I answered so that I chose concepts and words that he would understand without dodging the question completely.  It is also the best advice when a ER case lands on your desk, or a staff requisition form or a change managment proposal – step back and consider all the alternatives before advising.
  • Pick your Battles  I do a lot of ER work.  I often have cases where a member of staff is underperforming, has misconduct issues and minor ill health concerns.  When the frustrated manager calls me in with the phrase “just get rid of them!” my response is normally to pick your battle.  Which element of this case is the real problem, or where can we make a real difference… know what the same goes for my kids too.  Yes my daughter is picking up her carrots and dipping them in her gravy….no it is not the best table manners and I don’t wish to encourage this behaviour, but last week she wouldn’t even feed herself without continuous callogoling and its a step forward – pick your battles.
  • Know your Tech Im a geek and I like my figures….lots of us in HR do.  Good tech when it comes to applicant tracking and HR databases are key and not that surprising that I mention them here.  So is Linked in, twitter and facebook both for keeping up with your colleagues and for keeping up to date.  And finally there is a lot to be said for that App that keeps your little darlings quiet in the cafe so you can finish your flat white in peace and get ready for the next game of “tickle chase”.

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