I didn’t really know much about the field of Human Resources, I only took a course relating to it back in the University. I studied tourism management at the prestigious Redeemers University and consequently I wanted to pursue a career in the Hospitality industry because I really loved the industry.
Upon graduation, I was to embark on the mandatory National Youth Service Corp for all Nigerian graduates. My posting letter came, and I realized that I had been posted to a school in Ibadan, Nigeria. This marked the beginning of my beautiful sojourn in the world of Human Resources. I was exposed to the rudiments of HR and its application under the tutelage of Mrs. Adora Ayoade which set the foundation for my career in Human Resources. Since then, I have worked in a couple of organizations. My first job as an HR Assistant, today I am an accomplished HR Generalist Consultant with 8 years+ progressive experience. During the period, I decided to improve my knowledge by acquiring a master’s degree in HR, enrolled for professional certifications and attended training and seminars in order to stay updated and relevant.
What I have learnt along the way?
I have learnt a lot; the good, the bad and the ugly.
The good: A key motivation for venturing into the Human Resources profession is genuine care about people. A desire to help humanity, the ability to create memorable working experiences for employees, meet the human capital and business need of organizations, design opportunities for career advancement while directly impacting the standard of living of people. One of the most thrilling experiences about HR is the privilege of being a part of people’s transformation journey. For example, some years ago, we hired an employee who barely sailed through the recruitment process, but we gave him a chance because of his contagious zeal and passion, today he heads a department and he is doing extraordinarily well. I am always glad that we gave him a chance to prove his worth.
The Bad: one of the ethics of the HR profession is confidentiality. On several occasions, I have been privy to certain information about staff and management’s decision which I cannot disclose except upon execution. I have been involved with firing underperforming employees for the growth and development of the business. I have had to conduct disciplinary procedures and mete out appropriate sanctions on erring employees regardless of my relationship with such employees. I must confess that this is a tough call and it requires a lot of professionalism.
The ugly: The function of HR that I find most unpleasant is having to call next of kin about the demise of a loved one, planning funerals, etc. but it comes with the job and must be done! In addition to this having to issue summary dismissals, handling court or fraud cases can also be a traumatic experience. For example, I once resumed work at a company only to realize that they were in the middle of a terrible court case regarding ownership of the business. This impacted negatively on employees and it was even tougher for me as the HR personnel.
As human resource personnel one important skill we must have is the ability to strike the right balance between meeting business goals and employee needs. We are in the people business and at the core of any successful organization are its people. HR professionals must, therefore, take people seriously because they are the reason, we have a career.
Did I make the right decisions on following this career path? Absolutely! It is one of the best decisions of my life.