Human Resources - The Loneliest Position

Aug 19 / Aleta Maxwell
Let’s talk about work.

 You are in H.R. You are the person people come to with problems that need to be handled. You are the person employees lean on for support. You are aware of confidential information that cannot be shared with anyone in the company. This is an honorable position…but lonely.  

All other people in the structure of a company or organization have several support systems set up. Usually, they have a supervisor or several supervisors above them. They also have the HR Department to turn to with issues (this would be you). And they have their co-workers with which to commiserate, celebrate, encourage, gossip, and motivate. This structure helps one feel less alone in their struggles and ambitions.  

HR positions are unique in that you do not have the same relationships with your supervisors, co-workers, or even employers. You don’t get that same support system. 

I know this first-hand. I found myself in the position of my dreams. I was the Chief Human Resources Officer of a company that I had helped build. I was able to help set culture and help guide us as we embarked on challenging goals with amazing people.

I should have been feeling great and super energized. Instead, I felt stuck

I knew information that others weren’t privy to. I investigated issues and uncovered things that I couldn’t speak openly about. I struggled with managing the egos present, and yet, I couldn’t share these struggles with anyone else in the organization. The owners had their own issues that they were coping with. And while they were happy to brainstorm, they had hired me to get things done, not complain. I realized that the position of my dreams was a very lonely one.  

Then, one day, I was contacted by a leadership coach. She offered to speak with me about possibly working together, and it was in this first one hour of conversation that I realized what I had been missing! I hadn’t thought about what I needed in terms of my own development and support system. I had been so busy focused on training myself on different skill sets, being there for my team, leading the company, and being their go-to person, that I hadn’t considered the fact that I needed my own go-to person

Working one-on-one with a personal leadership coach allowed me to get clear on what my values were, what unique skills I was bringing to the table, and start to plan a clear path forward that would focus on my happiness. I now had a person with whom I could confidentially unpack what was going on. I could talk through the issues and brainstorm on the best way forward for me as a person, and for us as a company. Whether that was how to manage egos, or how to move forward in positive ways during challenging times, this person became my secret weapon. This was a complete game-changer for me, and I couldn’t recommend this more to anyone else in a similar position. 

Think about your personal life. Who is on your support team? From spouse/partners to sitters/nannies, house cleaners, massage therapists, etc. Who are those people that you turn to that help keep you on the path forward and at your best? Maybe you’ve done a great job of building a support team around you in your life. Maybe you need to evaluate how to build a better team.  

Now think about your professional life. Who is on your support team? I know that in an HR position, it is very hard to build this team. A support team should include those who you can be completely honest about your fears, goals, and obstacles. It should include someone who will also challenge you and hold you accountable to who you say you want to be or what you want to do professionally.  Even though it is hard to find support as an HR professional, it can be done! 

And here’s another hard question for you. When was the last time you took a hard look at your own development? I’m not talking about learning a new skill set, or increasing your knowledge on a new platform, but rather about your leadership skills and how to best improve them? When was the last time you analyzed your leadership style, and whether or not that was still serving you?  

Development is an invaluable investment into your own life. It will help you maximize your potential in the workplace, realize your goals and dreams as well as gives you a support framework to take the necessary steps to your most desired professional life. This also cannot help but overflow into a more evolved personal life. Having a support team to develop oneself helps to create a thriving life in and out of the workplace.  

As you ask yourself these hard questions and evaluate what you have intentionally or unintentionally set up for your life, I invite you to consider partnering with a Leadership Coach in order to build the ideal support team.   

You are worth the investment! 

Leadership Coaching is my passion and it is my joy to support others in reaching their full potential! I would love to chat with you to see if and how I can best support you in your career.  I’m offering a free 45-minute complimentary coaching session. 

Please click HERE to schedule your FREE 45-Minute Coaching Session.  You can also email me at aleta@upliftlead.com or read more about my services here. 

About Aleta

Aleta Maxwell is a certified executive coach, author, leadership development content creator, as well as CEO & Founder of Uplifting Leadership.

Aleta has held multiple senior-level leadership roles over the past 25 years in the hospitality industry and non-profit companies. 

While partnering with leaders at all levels of management, Aleta utilizes techniques like curiosity, compassion, and courage to help clients become more aligned with their purpose and values. Using these techniques,
Aleta collaborates with her clients to uplift their specific leadership skill set and hone the tools needed to develop brand ambassadors in their employees.