Is HR a Women’s Only Club? (Men in HR)

One of my oldest and dearest friend was recently let go from his job.  While it was an extremely stressful and frightening time for himself and his partner, it was also a blessing in disguise as he had wanted to try something new for a while.

What Next?

After spending a few weeks secretly enjoying his unemployment and carefree days, he began to explore the possibility of taking up teaching. A rewarding career with some awesome holidays….hello sun!  He even went as far as doing a short, part-time stint as a teaching assistant.  But maybe the less said about that experience the better.

The other avenue that he explored and has ultimately taken is human resource (HR), a career that I did not fully understand until we began to discuss it further. It has always seemed to be a sector dominated by women and I was curious as to why?

(Stereo)typical Men!

The perception that HR is a girls only club appears to be based on the stereotypes of the role and genders in general. Many people would be hard pressed to tell you what HR professionals do. When we think of HR, the conventional view is that of administration, recruitment and someone handing out tissues to upset employees.

While the role is by its very nature about managing people, requiring many soft skills such as communication, what I have learned is that HR professionals require real knowledge of business practice and policy. This allows them to understand their business objectives better and in turn to identify and nurture existing employees in their roles.

It was interesting to hear that when my friend did his CIPD level 3 to better his skills in HR, that there were several ex-armed forces on the course with him. Which makes sense when you consider that they probably have a great idea about how to build a team or two!

All Talk

You may be thinking, but women are better at soft skills, they listen better, they can read between the lines, they are more caring.  Or maybe men wouldn’t believe they possess nor would they necessarily want to develop these skills.

Really? As if a man could not do the same?  This perception has allowed the industry to be dominated by women over the last couple of decades, while it appears men have focused their attention on other industries.

This the 21st century and we are constantly annoyed by the notion that women are not as good as our male counterparts in many other industries.  Men are more than capable of possessing or developing these skills in HR and the sooner more do, the better.

Does It Matter?

I personally think that businesses should worry less about which gender an employee is and start employing people based on their personality and life experience.  After all, as my friend will show, this is all that really matters.

Five Perfect Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals

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Sticking to goals can be incredibly troublesome, especially when there are constant distractions in the form of food, friends and alcohol. However, deciding on goals can really help us understand what it is we want to achieve. After a couple of weeks of glorious indulgence, you may find you hit your limit and feel ready to make those vital changes to help reach your goals. There’s no better time than when you get that feeling of change to get stuck into hitting your targets. Here are my tips on how to set manageable goals so you can hit the ground running and be a success!

  1. Do It Early

A lot of people only set their goals at that start of the year and see the new year as a perfect excuse, I know from experience that attempting your resolutions on New Year’s Day is a non-starter. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be tired and/or hungover. In this state, you can only think as far ahead as bacon, so reaching important goals will feel impossible.

Know that it’s okay to not feel ready until the spring months, I personally start to feel the need for change as the weather starts to turn and Spring begins to spring. This leaves ample time to mull over what’s important to you and what you can do without, if you’re giving something up.

  1. Do the Things You Love

Achieving goals is much easier if you enjoy the activity that gets you there. For example, if you want to get fit and you love dancing, then Zumba may be worth trying. The same goes for any task; if you want to be more crafty but don’t like knitting, try your hand at collaging or marbling. Equally, if you do attempt something and aren’t keen on it, stop and find something you do like. It may mean a bit of trial-and-error but you can achieve miracles when you find your happy place.

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If you can find someone to commit to a goal with you, you are significantly more likely to achieve it. At the beginning of last year my husband and I invested in carbon fibre road bikes. We made a pact that if we got them we would cycle at least once a week, whatever the weather. I’ve always loved cycling but my husband is a little more resistant. Despite this, we managed to keep to our promise (except for holidays), and I believe this is because we were both dedicated.

  1. Set a few Achievable Goals

It doesn’t matter how early you plan, how much you love the process, or who’s in it with you, because if you set a goal that’s too time-consuming, you’re more unlikely to accomplish it. Instead of attempting to gain a six-pack by May, try setting a goal of simply feeling more body confident. I read a fascinating study which showed that people felt better after just 20 minutes of exercise. So that’s all it takes! On a similar note, setting too many goals can be just as daunting as having a mammoth one.

  1. Write Them All Down

Once you’ve come up with your manageable and realistic goals, write them down and pin them somewhere you will see daily. This now gives you time to think of fun ways to realise your goals and find someone to do them with.

So, if you’re having an off day and all you want to do is eat a bacon sandwich and drink lots of delicious soft drinks, you can do so, safe in the knowledge that you have a plan and partner to start achieving your goals when you are ready and in your own precious time.