Two years ago I quit my job as an HR Director.
I don’t want to go back. At least I don’t think I want to go back. I don’t think about it all to be honest. And the profession probably wouldn’t take me back anyway. Not at this point. Two years away in the real world is is like fifteen years away in Human Resources.
Maybe you’re in HR, and you hate your job. Maybe you tell yourself you hate your employer and another company would make you happier. Or maybe you’re wondering why the heck you ever chose Human Resources, and you want to change your field entirely.
If the latter is you, read the rest of this article. Everyone else, take a nap. Just kidding. Keep reading. I’m selfish and like the attention.
Here are six things have happened since I left HR. Some are glorious. Some? Not so much.
1. You find out who your work friends are. Quickly. This happens quickly
Ouch. This one really blows.
You can’t call anyone you used to work with and complain about the place you just quit like a normal ex-employee. You have to suck it up, and hopefully someone will reach out to you and see how you’re doing.
Two people were really my friends. I thought there were a couple hundred. Boy, was I wrong!
Your worst HR fear is true.
Work people are only nice to you to suck up and keep their jobs.
2. You could care less about Obamacare regulations
I can’t even remember the names of the forms I needed to fill out all the time. I have no clue. I barely remember what ACA stands for. I don’t even care!
If someone is talking about being a Democrat in my Facebook timeline, my immediate reaction is no longer to rant about how President Obama is ruining this country with healthcare reform.
I was so lame, you guys! I can’t believe I have any liberal Facebook friends left.
And dare I say that I, myself, am becoming more liberal now that I don’t work in HR? I do dare to say it. I do.
3. Did SHRM change the way certifications work? #LongHairDontCare
No, really. I saw some of you being super upset with SHRM about a year ago. Did something happen? There’s a new certification process? What happens to the old certifications? Do they still count?
THAT TEST WAS HARDER THAN THE BAR EXAM! (Or so they say.)
Literally no one knows what SPHR, PHR or SHRM means in the real world (except for HR people and their bosses). SHRM never comes up. Ever. Trust me. I’ve tried to bring it up, and people look at me weird … like I’m slurring.
“Did you shee what’sh going on with SHRM? Everyone sheems sho upshet.”
I truly loved speaking for free at these conferences, where everyone dished out thousands of dollars and got HRCI credits for listening to me.
This seems like really odd behavior, two years later.
4. Speaking of #LongHairDontCare, you may die it purple for a hot minute
When you’re no longer the moral beacon of your company, you go a little nuts.
Picture yourself with the stupid employee handbook. The one you probably wrote. Light it on fire. Throw it out the window.
I died my hair purple (which actually stained my clothes and made me feel self conscious around clients).
You’ll do something crazy – something you couldn’t do before because you were the rule maker. You’ll have an identity crisis. This is part of leaving HR.
5. You work more hours
This sort of sucks.
It’s to be expected when you restart your career path. You have to work your way up again. For me this means building a business from the bottom up.
Until I let go of control and trust that we are running strong as a new company, I will work crazy hours. Entrepreneurs, does this ever stop? Paid vacation? What’s that?
Start-ups are no joke.
6. I found my passion and piles of money
My mother gets really mad when people ask me how my business is going and I reply, “Oh my gosh! So good! I have amazing clients! All word of mouth! And I’m getting SO RICH!”
My mom says it’s tacky to add the SO RICH part.
I’m “new money,” not “old money.” I really have no idea how to navigate a healthy six-figure income, people on my payroll, and amazing clients… other than to be really excited about it. I want everyone who cheered me on and helped me to be excited, too.
I was really tired of making the same crap salary year after year and begging for raises. I was sick to death of firing people. Talking about employee benefits all day was boring; and I couldn’t listen to one more person complain to me about their job, or I would scream. I hated my job, too.
So I did something about it.
And amazing things began happening.
If you think you should quit HR, you probably should.