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Being an HR Contractor, Consultant, Therapist, you name it, was not the plan. I was a corporate junkie who was going to stay in the clink forever, what else was there? I could compare it to going to Catholic school most of my young years day-dreaming of what a public school must be like inside because all I knew was that I was in prison with Sister Charles, and I needed to figure out a way to escape. Thank goodness my parents were listening. As adults now, it is up to us to navigate the world, our work of choice, and we have to be smart, brave, and authentic, otherwise we wind up in the turn-style of dread, heading for the 2×2 tiled ceiling of fluorescents. All consultant cynicism aside, those years meant so much to me, they were my learning ground, my playing field, my challenge and my plight, my paycheck, and a place where mentoring was a given gift, and life-long relationships were built. Thank goodness I listened to myself – I stayed long enough to gain the confidence to work hard and land that questionably respected but proud of myself VP role, to now go it alone. And I listened to my husband. I left the corporate world with my love for HR still intact, and the fact that it was 2010 was simply timing and eventually a back-handed gift.
As I watched friends in business suffer a similar fate, heck I had laid some if not many of them off myself, I watched local businesses crumble, downsizings hit, and resumes on desks everywhere. Larger businesses now a subset of who they were trying to stay afloat, trying to piece it back together and trying to work alongside those who survived the insidious rough patch that had become the norm. What I found during this time was that these businesses needed a catalyst, an activist, a steward, someone with operational and human resources expertise to help them with their new and everyday struggles of people issues, confusing legal HR jargon and threats, benefits, paperwork, terminations, and eventually a rebirth. Welcome, HR Lady.
It was not the plan. What is that phrase? Best laid plans….something like that. My business quickly grew but not without questioning, mistakes, second-guessing, and QuickBooks for Dummies. I was, and still am, blessed to have had trusted advisors by my side to untangle the web of self-doubt, and a husband to always give me the rah-rah of support. With my former HR Generalist in tow with typing fingers and an ear, off we went client shopping and working behind the scenes at every moment to create this home of HR and support mechanism for so many who we personally knew dealing with the shrapnel. No longer was reading a good book on a Sunday in the cards; my reading only consisted of anything business or HR-related, and this remains the case, but it’s actually okay. Just give me the facts, let me educate my clients.
Nearly five years later and filled with confidence knowing that I am more than able, and willing, to grow and retain a sustainable business offering C-level expertise to the masses, I enter the next five with more fervor than ever anticipated. I consider this journey as an HR consultant and advisor a privilege to be able to help business owners, managers, and employees with their pain points, when they are stuck in the mud, or fear the reaper of labor law or overtime issues, or simply to listen and guide next steps. I now untangle their webs, happily and graciously returning the favor once given to me.