Surprise! HR’s Secret Weapon Revealed

If there’s one piece of advice I could give a new HR Pro, it would be this: no matter how prepared you think you are, you really only need to prepare yourself for one thing—being surprised.

You don’t really get judged on your daily stuff. Let’s face it, 99.9% of the time, your routine tasks go off without a hitch. Handling payroll, organizing training sessions, and managing employee benefits are important, but they usually follow a predictable pattern.

What sets you apart, and what you are truly judged on, is how you handle the unexpected.

Surprises make and break great HR Pro careers.

There’s only one way to prepare for surprises—you need to expect that a surprise will always happen. That one employee you can’t lose or the entire project will blow up? Be prepared to lose them. Talk about it, plan for it, and basically accept that it will happen. Conducting risk assessments and having backup plans can help, but mentally preparing yourself is just as crucial. Then, when it does happen, you’ll be the only one not surprised by it.

The best HR Pros I’ve worked with had this one common trait: they were unshakeable when surprised, almost like they expected it. They had a knack for staying calm and composed, no matter the crisis. Whether it was a sudden resignation, an unexpected legal issue, or a last-minute change in company policy, they handled it with ease.

Expect the unexpected, and you’ll not only survive in the HR world, but you’ll also thrive.

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