I am running up fast on ten years of HR and recruiting experience. Seems like I shouldn’t be able to say that, because ten years is a long time. I’ve learned a couple of things through the years and that’s sort of why this blog exists- to tell the other good folks of our profession about my massive mistakes and how to avoid them. This one is particularly fun because it happened early on in my career and has recently come full circle.
Sometimes people say mean things about my generation. They talk about us like we can’t read or don’t have ears for hearing. People say my generation is rude and full of lazy know it alls. I’ve defended those things for my generation many many times, but unfortunately I’ve also exhibited that dreadful behavior.
Early on in my career I joined my local SHRM chapter. Our chapter was rather large and I started volunteering so I could get to know some other professionals in a smaller atmosphere. Eventually I ended up on our board and as one of the youngest and most inexperienced professionals on the board I did allow myself a juvenile moment in front of all of my peers.
The amount of emails you receive on the board can sometimes be outrageous. Group emails, much like group texts, are like a solidified prison that you can’t tunnel your way out of. On one particularly busy work day a useless board related group email came through my inbox and instead of answering the question in the email I responded with the lmgtfy link to the answer. I know, I know-AWFUL. I considered making this one a video blog just so you could hear the agony in my voice as I relive that ridiculous antic. So how did this come full circle? There is an HR position open that someone else thinks I would be a PERFECT fit for and honestly the job sounds great, but guess what? The owners wife is that HR person that I sent a let me google that for you smart alec answer to on a reply all email on our local SHRM chapter board. Yep. Sigh…. Guess who isn’t touching that one!
What should I have said in that email? How about something along the lines of “I googled your question and the top answer was xyz.” Much better than a smart alec link. Google, whats up with that link? I can’t be trusted to use that tool responsibly and now it’s come back to bite me.
Lesson? It’s all in the delivery. Even on your busiest or crummiest days, what you say and how you act is a reflection of you and can come back and bite you or it can help you! Where do you want to be and what behavior is going to get you there?