What is your most prized possession?

I’m heartbroken watching the California fires. The stories coming out of California are just gut-wrenching. I’m struck by how people find the strength to stand up when they’ve lost everything but the clothes on their back.

I was listening to the podcast, Broken Record, with Malcolm Gladwell and, world-renowned music producer, Rick Rubin, who literally just lost his famous house in a fire. Now, I know, Rick is super-wealthy, but he also is a person who probably has a ton of irreplaceable things he’s gotten in his life. Awards, artifacts of his industry, etc.

He said he didn’t really care about the ‘things’ the fire took, but he was brought to tears by losing the hundred-year-old trees on his property. The trees, the land, was what made his home special and a sanctuary for his peace. While he could replant trees, he would never live long enough to see them as they were.

It made me think about my own possessions. What do I have that if lost I would be crushed? Not people or pets, but inanimate object-type of possessions. If I could only grab one possession before getting out with my life and my families lives, what possession would I grab?

It definitely wasn’t anything like of a material nature. I could replace clothes, furniture, and electronics. At first, I thought I knew, oh, for sure it would be pictures. Pictures of my boys as babies, but most of these have been converted to digital and they are in the cloud, so while there would be a few pictures lost, I would still have many that were probably similar.

Maybe it was something someone gave me to me, but I’ve already lost my most valued possession. After my grandfather died, I was twelve, my grandmother handed me a tattered brown envelop, aged by the years. Inside it was a few pictures of my grandfather in the Navy, along with his medals. I had them for years, but somewhere along the way they got misplaced and I’ve never been able to find them. I still think about that loss. It was the only thing I had of my grandfathers.

I came to the realization, while it would be painful to lose everything, there wasn’t one thing I would have to keep for myself. There was one thing I know my wife, though, would want. She keeps a box with letters and notes I’ve given her over the years. I’m sure there are letters and notes from the boys as well. She would definitely want those, so my one thing would be that box. I know those momentoes are important to her.

So, as you get ready for Thanksgiving I’ll ask you the same question, what one possession would you grab if you could only grab one and everything else would be lost? Hit me in the comments with what you came up with, and if you’re struggling for great conversation at your Thanksgiving table, ask your friends and loved ones this question.

“Overqualified” is Just another word for Age Discrimination

Had a really talented lady reach out to me the other day. 49 years old, college grad, great portfolio of work. She has been interviewing and is being told she is “Overqualified”.

There is some truth about her being called this. She does have more qualifications than the position requires, but she fully understands what the job is and she wants to do that job, with no notion of wanting to do more than that job, unless her performance shows she’s capable of moving up and the company needs her to move up.

“Overqualified” is just another way to say “Hey, I think you’re too old to work for me!”

Tell me I’m wrong! Give me all the reasons someone is “Overqualified” for a job they want to work at and understand what the job specs are?

I’m a Heart Surgeon but it’s a stressful job, so I decided to take a step back and just do some Cardiac Rehab work. Still get to work with heart patients, but it’s a less stressful workload and pays a heck of lot less, you need less education to do that job.

Am I overqualified to do Cardiac Rehab if I have experience as a heart surgeon? Only if you tell me I am! It’s a job I want, and I have the skills and desire to do that job, so I would say I’m quite qualified to do that job, not overqualified.

TA pros and hiring managers say someone is overqualified when they’re too stupid to come up with another reason about why they don’t want to hire someone who has great experience and more years of experience.

“Oh, Tammy, yeah, she’s overqualified to work in that job. I mean she wouldn’t be happy long-term reporting to me, and I mean she has more experience than I have!” Oh, she told you that? “Um, no.”

I constantly run into retired people who aren’t ready to retire and want to keep doing valuable work. They have great skills and knowledge, but 32-year-old Steve won’t hire them because Steve believes they won’t take his direction. That’s a Steve-issue, not the candidate’s issue!

By the way, this isn’t a young-to-middle-aged guy problem, women are just as bad! Turns out we all love to discriminate against old people, equally!

Tech companies are the worse. Creative companies are the second worse.

Tech companies believe only young people know technology. Creative companies think the only people who buy products and services are 26-year-olds on Instagram and Snap.

“Tim, you just don’t get it. I don’t want to hire someone who is going to retire in 5 years!” What’s your average tenure at your company? “4.2 years” Yeah, having someone for 5 years would really suck for you!

I had a hiring manager tell me this once when he interviewed a person who was 52! “I need someone who is going to stay long term!” Um, 13-15 years isn’t long term?! You’re an idiot!

I find telling hiring managers “You’re an idiot!” is super effective in getting through to them, and cutting straight through to their bias. It has worked 100% of the time in my career. It really works across all biases.

So, now tell me, why don’t you hire someone who is ‘overqualified”?

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener…

This is HR’s go-to advice for employees who put in their two-week notice, especially if that employee is heading to a competitor:

“Just remember! The grass isn’t always greener!” 

HR is mostly right. I’d say here’s the actual breakdown of ‘greenest’:

  • 50% is actually about the same shade of green. You’re moving to just move. You’ll find the job, the people, the money, everything is almost the same. The only change is the name and maybe the location by a bit.
  • 30% is going to be a nice shade of light brown, meaning the grass isn’t green at all, it’s dead! HR wants to believe this number is higher but it’s not, but it’s high enough to give some folks some pause before making such a big decision.
  • 10% is way greener! Like green M&M green. Dream job green! Everything is better and you’re so happy you made the move. You found your dream job!
  • 10% isn’t grass at all. Someone replaced the grass with some other material, like in Phoenix where grass can’t grow so they pave the front yard and paint it green, or just put in rock and cactus. This is completely something you didn’t expect. You were hoping for a better job, and you got something that isn’t better but not worse, it’s not even the job you expected, so you can’t really compare.

So, you have about a 10% chance of getting what you think you’re getting. Not good odds, but like I said, most employees way overthink their odds on this and probably believe they have a 70-90% of bettering themselves when they move. Most will just stay the same or get slightly worse.

Why do we believe moving is better?

1. You’re being sold. Sold by a recruiter and a hiring manager that you’ll be moving from a trailer park to Disney World. You really, really want to believe that’s true, so you buy!

2. You over-value that what we don’t know, over what we already have. This happens in so many areas of our life. Relationships. Jobs. A table at a restaurant.

3. You over-value what others have, over what you have. Think about this for a minute. You’re so eager to get out of this job, yet others are so eager to get this job. What does that say? You’re brilliant and everyone else is an idiot? Probably not. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

Everyone keeps telling me all these ‘new’ young workers just want to jump from job to job. They don’t have loyalty, etc. The reality is much less about their desire to move, and more about them being more naive to the realities of changing jobs.  We all loved changing jobs until it backfires and you leave something good, for something crappy.

Once that happens, you’re less likely to change jobs the rest of your career, even if you’re in a bad job! Don’t underestimate what you currently have. It’s probably way better than you’re making it out to be, and the new gig isn’t as good as it sounds. That’s not sexy, that’s just reality.

Mailbag Question: Should Our Receptionist Hug Clients?

So, yes, I’m the “World’s Foremost Expert on Workplace Hugging” so it seems appropriate that this week I would get the following question from a reader:

Dear World’s Foremost Expert on Workplace Hugging, 

My boss asked me to do something this week and before I did it I wanted to ask an expert, like yourself, and get some other opinions. The situation is our CEO has asked me to ‘tell’ our front desk receptionist that she will now be required to hug each client that comes into our office. Our CEO feels this will create a more welcoming and friendly environment for our clients. What are your thoughts on doing this?

Thinking this doesn’t right in Middle America! 

Yes, this was an actual exchange that I had this week! I made up the name, but everything else is as accurate as I can make and still protect the innocent!

So, in 2017, a CEO of an actual, successful company, wants “Mary” the Receptionist to start hugging every client that comes to the office. Wow. Right? Just, Wow!

Here’s my response:

Middle America,

First, being a hugger, I actually understand where your CEO is coming from. When I go into a business and I’m met with a friendly (natural, unforced) hug. I feel very welcome! When I’m down south, I seem to get more hugs than if I’m on either coast or in a big city. So, part of me actually understands the psychology behind this request.

That being said, I have one question for your CEO (and I encourage to ask this question): “If Mary leaves as your receptionist, and you hire “Mark” to replace her, will your CEO still want “Mark” to go and hug every client?” I’ll take make a ‘big’ assumption here and say, no, probably not!

This is a very quick and simple way to point out how harassing this action would be viewed by normal people. If you decide to go down this path of making hugging an actual work requirement, you will end up in a lawsuit at some point!

Okay, I’m a hugger, so let me tell you how you get most of what you want, without the lawsuit! Go hire a natural hugger to man your front desk and never discourage this behavior! You’ll get most of what you want, especially if your CEO and others mirror this hugging behavior to every client they meet in front of this person.

Good Luck,

Tim The World’s Foremost Expert in Workplace Hugging!

I love HR because of this very real, innocent question. You never actually know what the heck you’ll walk into each day, and there is no way of planning for the insane things that happen!

Have a great Friday HR Pros! You deserve it!

GenX Rant: You’re not lonely, you’re just an idiot…

So, the Washington Post ran an article this week where the former Surgeon General states that the U.S. has a “loneliness epidemic” it’s currently facing. A what?!

From the article:

“Vivek H. Murthy, who became the U.S. surgeon general in late 2014 after a lengthy confirmation battle over his remarks about guns being a health-care issue, added emotional well-being and loneliness to his list of big public health worries.

Now he’s writing about the impact the workplace has on those issues, taking his concerns to employers and speaking out about how the “loneliness epidemic” plays out on the job. In a new cover story in the Harvard Business Review, Murthy treats loneliness like a public health crisis, and the workplace as one of the primary places where it can get better — or worse. “Our social connections are in fact largely influenced by the institutions and settings where we spend the majority of our time,” Murthy said in an interview with The Washington Post. “That includes the workplace.”

Have we lost our f#*king minds!?

So, Timmy doesn’t make friends at work, goes home and spends eight straight hours on social media, or binge watches 8 episodes of Breaking Bad and feels like no one is his friend. That not an epidemic. Tim is an idiot!

I wasn’t a lonely kid, and I didn’t grow up being a lonely adult. Why? My parents would physically lock me out of the house from like after school to whenever the street lights came on. I was no ‘allowed’ in the house. They forced me to got out and make friends. It’s a learned skill, making friends. They said only one thing, “Go make friends.”

No instructions. No scheduled playgroups. Get your lazy ass outside and make friends. It’s not hard, just don’t be an idiot to the other kids who are were also forced outside. A ‘friend’ is not a social connection. It’s someone you physically talk to, touch, you know what each other’s likes and hates. You know their dreams and fears.

So, here we are in 2017, we can’t find enough talent, we’re struggling to help our leaders manage the performance of our workforce, and now we have to teach adults how to make friends? You have to be freaking kidding me!

A decade ago Gallup found out the ‘trick’ too happy employees is they have a ‘best friend’ at work. Little did we know, then, but apparently we do today, HR would become best friend matchmaker for friendship illiterate millennials who couldn’t look up from their phones for fifteen seconds to say an actual “hello” to Timmy as he walked by.

I give up. We’re all morons. Society is lost. China, please come takeover already…

Dream Gigantic

I love this concept. It feels hopeful and aspirational.

I don’t do this enough. I don’t count myself as a dreamer, but I encourage my children to do this.  I want them to be the MLB Shortstop, the famous Fashion Designer, and world renowned Environmentalist.  They have Gigantic dreams.

I will do everything I can in my power to help them reach those dreams.  I tell myself I won’t be the parent who tells them they are unrealistic.  I won’t be the parent to tell them they are far-fetched.  I will not be the parent to tell them that their dream is out of reach. I have to keep telling myself this because as a parent it’s hard.

I have a career that has taught me to be pragmatic.  I’ve seen the best and worst of people, sometimes all in the same day. When people ask me for career advice I give them the safe answer because I know the reality of life, their dreams are longshots and most people are not willing to come close to the effort they need to exert to reach their dreams.

So, I give them options I think they are willing to work for which are usually less than Gigantic.

Every day I have to consciously turn this off as I drive home.  You see the reason we have dreams is that we have a belief that there is something more, something better.  Dreams can be Gigantic and you reach them through Gigantic effort.

5 Great Excuses to Miss a Coworkers Wedding!

I had one of my Recruiters ask for some advice this week. It wasn’t work advice, it was a little more personal.  She had told a person she would attend a wedding of a family member with them but was having second thoughts. It was one of those Holy Crap moments! I don’t really like this person that much, and I don’t want to go to a family wedding with him and send the wrong message.

So, what was my advice?  It started out pretty straight. Tell them the truth!  “Look, dude, I’m just not that into you, and the last place on earth I want to be on Saturday evening is sitting at a table with your parents and Aunt Betty with them thinking “ours” is next!”

As you can imagine, that wasn’t going to do.  Not that she didn’t want to tell him the truth, but she also didn’t want to hurt him. She was looking for a softer way to cut him loose.  You know! A how-do-I-get-him-to-not-want-me-to-go excuse like he can’t stand my breathe or I have hammer toes, or something!?

Now, she was truly diving into my end of the pool!  You want a “Fake Reason” why you can’t go!  YES! I’m in HR. I’m in Recruiting. I’m the king of fake excuses of why people don’t get the job!  I’m on it!

So, here’s the first 3 I gave her:

  1. You haveVD! (Ok, I know this is strong right out of the gate – but let’s face the facts – most dudes will run from this!  Funny Fact: She is a millennial and had no idea what “VD” was! I’m old! Using WWII references like it was cool 2017 slang!)
  2. Your Dog/Cat has Cancer!(Sketchy I know, but girls and their pets…this one might work.  Funny Fact: Her dog actually did have Eye Cancer but was cured, so not technically lying…)
  3. You have to Babysit for a Co-worker!(Now this one is fraught with problems guys have gotten this one before and they might pull a. “Oh, I’ll come and help!” then you’re stuck and have to find some brat to babysit for the night. Funny Fact: She was like “Oh, hell No! I have a Real Job, why would I babysit!”)

All of this brainstorming got me thinking of how I’ve personally gotten out of going to Co-workers Weddings that I didn’t want to go to.  Here are my Top 5 Excuses to  Miss a Co-worker’s Wedding:

  1. I’ll be on Vacation! This is good because you usually find out about the wedding of a co-worker way ahead of time. All you have to do is actually plan for this and take your vacation during the weekend of the wedding. Far, far away from the actual wedding.
  2. My kid has a sports tournament out of town that weekend.  A little sketchy, but it is really hard for them to verify you really didn’t have a sports tournament, and let’s face it, I’m going to my kid’s sports game (the 127th of this year) vs. your once in a lifetime moment.
  3. I came down with the “Flu”!This one nobody believes, but it’s the go-to excuse because everyone uses it and it has been internationally certified as an acceptable lie to get out of anything. A case of diarrhea always works as well and no one digs deeper on this excuse!
  4. My Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa/Great Aunt Betty/etc. fell and are at the hospital. I needed to go see them. They needed my help. It was serious.  Let’s face old people fall. In fact, it might be the only thing they have left to do. You hear about old people falling every day. Very usable excuse in a pinch because it’s somewhat believable and old people don’t remember later on when someone asks “How are you doing after your fall?”, and they’ll go “better” and then complain about their aches and pains.
  5. I’ve got another Wedding that same day! Again, believable, but what you’re really saying to the person is “I’ve ranked you lower than someone else in my life. I hope you understand, but I didn’t buy you a place setting off your registry!”

What is your top excuse for not going to a co-worker’s wedding?

How Big Is Your Hotel Room? Measuring your HR Influence! #SHRM17

Just got off the spring HR conference season, although it seems like the HR/TA conference season is now never ending. It used to be the conference season for HR and TA conferences were spring and fall, with the one outlier being SHRM National at the end of June. Now, you can go to a conference in any month of the year!

As one of the many people in our industry that writes, speaks, etc. Some folks would consider me a person who has some influence in the space. I certainly don’t have the most influence, but I do okay. My wife likes to call me a ‘micro-celebrity’, meaning I have about 23-ish HR pros around the world who know who I am, and might want a hug when they see me!

When you go on the HR/TA conference circuit, as an influencer, you get humbled very quickly, as you run into conferences where your influence is minimal, and come conferences where you’re the rock star. I just came back from a conference where I was humbled, so I wanted to share how you can tell your value at a conference as an influencer!

It’s the size of the hotel room they give you!

Let me break down the ratings of Influence “5” being the highest influence, “1” being the lowest influence in the HR space:

Level 5 HR/TA Influencer:  You’re in the suite life! Gerry Crispin is a level 5 influencer! I was at a conference with him recently and his “room” was actually 4 rooms with a breakfast nook, two fireplaces, and a hot tub! That’s influence! We won’t talk about my room as compared to his! Level 5 Influencers also are picked up at the airport by someone holding a sign with their name on it. Probably have a gift basket in their room that includes something cool like a pair of Beats by Dre or Oakley sunglasses or something. Most level 5 influencers do not attend conferences for free, many of these gigs are paid gigs. (I’m not saying Gerry was paid, just that those at level 5 can get paid if they desire)

Gerry is a level 5 influencer because TA buyers listen to what he has to say. If Gerry says buy “X” software/product, people will buy. If he says “Y” software/product is crap, people won’t buy. Don’t tell me you’re a level 5 influencer without being able to move the market!

Level 5 HR/TA Influencer upgrade moment – Kyle Lagunas had a giant suite on top of the Bellagio in Vegas this year. I got invited. It was HR nerds acting like rappers, and it was awesome!

Level 4 HR/TA Influencer: You get to stay at the same hotel as a Level 5 influencer but you don’t get the same room! You probably don’t get the private ride to your hotel from the airport, but they’ll send you a note on what shuttle to take, you might even get the gift basket, but you will never get the breakfast nook! Level 4 and 5 influencers also are personally invited to these conferences, they never have to ask to attend. You’ve reached a certain level when you’re no longer begging to come to an event and work for free!

Once you reach level 4 you start getting invited to private dinners with vendors. Really nice meals at restaurants you would never go to unless someone else was paying and ordering drinks you wouldn’t if you were paying the tab.

Level 3 HR/TA Influencer: Welcome to the Hampton Inn, are you a Hilton Honors member? If so, we can get you a free bottle of water and move you to the top floor! Level 3 Influencers have made it to the land of not having to pay their own way to a conference, congratulations, that’s actually a huge step! The expectations though for this honor will be you’ll be writing, tweeting, IG’ing, Facebook live’ing, Snapping your life away for two straight days. It’s a big step to reach level 3, but that step comes with a lot of work conference organizers expect from you. At level 3 you’re probably booking your own hotel, flight and sharing an Uber to the event. But, you can turn those expenses in and get reimbursed.

Most likely at level 3 you probably had to ‘apply’ to attend the conference. Someone took a look at your name and others who applied and determined you carried enough influence to make the ‘list’. No one was contacting you asking you to come, but to be in the game, you must play the game! Level 3 influence comes with VIP access to the big HR parties, which usually means you don’t have to stand in line!

Level 2 HR/TA Influencer: You’re paying your own travel, but enough level 3-5’s didn’t want to come to our event, so we’ll give you a free pass to get in! With this free pass, we’ll make you dance like a monkey and do anything else we ask. Where a t-shirt with your logo? Sure! Many level two’s will bunk up in a two queen room. I once asked Kris Dunn if he wanted to share a room and he wouldn’t talk to me for a month! He was definitely not at level 2!

Level 1 HR/TA Influencer: At level 1 you’re paying your own way for everything. Travel, conference admission, etc. You’re probably sharing an Airbnb with other level 1’s and 2’s to help offset the cost, but you’ve got a dream, the Gerry Crispin 4-room suite dream! Plus, you can probably make at least a meal or two from snacks and candy given out at expo booths, and some giant HR vendor will have a huge party you can attend with the rest of the heard!

Some vendors completely screw themselves when they don’t understand the levels! If you’re a level 5 and a vendor treats you like a level 3, you can best believe you’ll never go back to that event! But, if you treat a level three, like a level 4 or 5, you just created an influencer friend for life! It works both ways!

The key for vendors is to try and get the most value for the level. It’s Moneyball! I want an up and coming level 3, who will probably be a 4 or 5 soon, to be at my event! I can get level 4 or 5 influence, on a level three budget. The hard part for all vendors is understanding who actually has real influence and who’s just pretending. Since I wrote the HR/TA Influence levels, I’m putting myself down as having some influence! 😉

People Who Are Always Late Are the Real Terrorists

I have a confession to make. I’m anally retentive on time. I’m so on time, that if I’m ‘on time’ I think I’m late. For me, being on time means I’m ten minutes early to whatever it is I’m scheduled to do.

If I know I might be late, I get anxiety. My close friends, and my wife, know this about me and usually if they know I’m feeling frisky, they’ll push this button!

Look, I get it, I’m not proud of this. We all carry around our own demons…

My take on this is there could be worse things in the world I could have problems with! I could be a drug addict. I could kick puppies. I could be completely rude and annoying and show up late to stuff and put other people out and show how I don’t care about them by not respecting their time and making them believe I must be more important than them by showing up after the agreed upon time! Yeah, like those things!

So, one of these always late terrorists put together an article recently and basically said that people who are always late are “more successful and live longer, says Science”.

You can bet, I took offense to this! It goes against every fiber of my being not to be late!

So, here’s a bit from the article and the ‘science’ they claim to have to back this up:

In DeLonzor’s book ‘Never be late again’, she says: “Many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic, she said, and this affects their perception of time. They really believe they can go for a run, pick up their clothes at the dry cleaners, buy groceries and drop off the kids at school in an hour…

In a study of salesmen carried out by Metropolitan Life, “consultants who scored in the top 10 percent for optimism sold 88 per cent more than those ranked in the most pessimistic 10 percent”. Their performance is better because their outlook is better…

People who are late, but genuinely don’t mean to be – the ones who want to be considerate, often live in the moment and find it hard to save for the future, says Alfie Kohn on Psychology Today. Some people “can’t summon the self-control to be on time” which would mean that person “probably has trouble getting his or her act together in other ways as well – say, around saving money or saying no to junk food.” Oops.

So, if you read the entire article the ‘science’ is basically this:

1. People who are late are optimistic.

2. Optimistic people in a sales role will sell more.

3. Selling more means you’re more successful.

4. Thus, People who are late are successful.

Apparently, people who are late also are bad at math and regression. Since you can not correlate being late to optimism to success to jump and put all those together!

Let’s face it, people who are late are awful people, and usually unsuccessful because they’re probably constantly trying to catch up from being late, and most likely fired often because they fail to keep commitments they made. Because they’re fired and constantly running behind, they’re most likely, also, stressed out more often than the fine, well-standing folks who show up on time, and that stress is a killer!

I have to assume the person who wrote the article was running late so they just made up some data and science to fit their lateness. I don’t condone it, but I understand. The habitually late need our help. It’s really more of a disease than a conscience decision. We might want to put in some legislation to give them extra protections. I want to be empathetic to their difficult plight of showing up to commitments on time! I’m not a monster.

Seriously, if you’re one of these terrorists, just know that everyone, deep down, hates you with a passion.

How to get your first HR job!

It’s graduation season which means I get a ton of messages from new HR grads asking for advice. I heard from someone at SHRM that there are currently 8,000 human resource’s university programs in the world currently.

Doesn’t that seem like a huge number? I’m not sure we actually need 8,000 HR post-high school programs but welcome to the business of higher education where we offer you what we can put together for the least cost that makes the most money, not what industry actually needs!

HR degrees are the new ‘education’ degree for people who hate kids, but think they’ll like adult employees who act like kids!

So, now you’ve got this bright and shiny new HR degree and you need a job. I hear Enterprise Rent A Car is hiring in their management training program! I’ve hired some great employees from Enterprise over the years. Also, every single hospital in the country needs nurses, almost every company on the planet needs technical talent. Oh, wait, yeah, HR jobs…

So, how do you get that first HR job?

Step 1: It starts the summer after your freshman year if you’re super aggressive and really want to be in HR and just didn’t fall into after your sophomore year and it seemed like the easiest way to get a degree. You need internships that allow you to do HR-type work.

Yeah, I know it’s next to impossible to get an HR internship, especially if you’re not in a top tier HR specific program. I love hiring grads from “B” schools, but “B” school and HR degree, without an internship, should be called a “B.A. in Selling Cell Phones out of a Mall Kiosk”.

Even if you’ve already graduated and struggling to get your first HR job, it’s still worth it to try and get an HR ‘internship’ at any level. What I recommend to new grads is you go do ‘volunteer’ HR work for a company or organization. Offer up yourself for 8-24 hours a week. Work a paying job nights and weekends, do whatever it takes to get “HR” on your resume.

Step 2: You’ve got to become a cray-stalker-networker. Link-In with every HR person you can find that graduated from your school. Link-In with every single HR pro in your area and ask for help getting experience and your first job. No! Actually, ask them for help! Most won’t, but some will.

Step 3: Make it super public you’re looking for your first HR Job. Tell your friends, neighbors, people at your church, your parent’s friends, the bartender when you order a drink. You need to be discovered and that only happens when you make yourself discoverable!

Step 4: Don’t worry about money in your first job. You need to get “HR” on your resume, even if it’s like going to a 5th year of college. So many HR grads I meet give up and work a job that will pay their bills. That first HR Administrator job might be a kick in the stomach to accept financially, but this is how you get to ‘the show’ and make a decent living in HR.

Step 5: Join the HR conversation online. Show up at HR meetups and local SHRM meetings. Most will let ‘students’ in for free. Use this to its fullest and then get involved and volunteer. Those people who volunteer with you will know about HR jobs before they go public and would love to plug you into it instead of posting and interviewing.

Step 6: If you can’t find any HR jobs. Apply to entry level agency recruiting jobs. Many large recruiting agencies are constantly hiring fresh meat. It’s a grind, but it’s a great resume builder, and you might fall in love with it. It’s not HR, it’s recruiting, but having this experience will get you in the door for corporate recruiting jobs and then you can eventually move into corporate HR jobs within that organization.

I love HR and Recruiting. It’s a great profession to get into, but it’s not easy to break in since the barrier to entry is fairly low. A ton of people in HR don’t have HR degrees, so most organizations don’t view your degree in HR as a necessity to work in HR.

I only offer the truth, I wish your college advisor did the same, but you can do, you can join the tribe, it might just take a little more work than you were expecting!