Candid Career Confessions From A No Bull, Straight-Talking HR Leader

If you’re going to spend any time on this blog, you ought to know the truth about the person behind it — me.

The interview that follows will give you a better idea of my take on HR and will reveal both the good and the not-so-flattering aspects of my HR career I’ve never shared with anyone else before.

This interview was originally published awhile back on Linked:HR.  At the time, it reached  600,000 global HR professionals, which is the largest single HR network on LinkedIn.  In case you didn’t catch it the first time, here it is (along with excerpts from some other interviews I’ve done as well).

One other thing:  It’s also the longest article I’ve ever published here — and it may be much more than what you bargained for.

In any event, hopefully you’ll find every word of value.

So grab a cup of your favorite beverage and enjoy!


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Bored With Your HR Day Job? Here Are 5 Simple Tips For Becoming An HR Consultant For Hire in 24 Hours…

By Alan Collins

Everyone at some point in their HR career thinks about becoming an independent consultant or coach.

Are you currently in that boat?

Are you an HR pro, bored with your day job and want to make a full-time switch into consulting or coaching?

Or do you want to keep the comfort and security of your current HR gig…but start consulting on a part-time basis?

In this article, I’ll walk you through ONE approach that will enable you to become a consultant (or coach) for hire in about one day.

Okay, it may take you two or three days at most.  But it can occur at warp speed, if you want it to.

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I QUIT! How To Leave Your Current HR Job Gracefully…Just In Case You Ever Want (Or Need) To Go Back

By Alan Collins

Congratulations! You just accepted a new HR position.

More money.

Better title.

Bigger responsibilities.

Way to go! I know you’re excited. You probably feel as if you could fly.

But before you get too full of yourself, here’s my advice…

Stop! Carefully plan your exit. Don’t burn any bridges.
No matter how you feel about your current job and your boss now,
you may want (or need) to return to that organization again.

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4 Simple But Deadly Career Mistakes HR Folks Make on LinkedIn — That Can Be Corrected In Minutes!

By Alan Collins

LinkedIn recently went over 300 million active users.

And in my view that makes it the #1 online career advancement tool for HR professionals.

Hands down.

Nothing else even comes close.

Estimates of professional participation in LinkedIn range as high as 83%.  So it’s the place to be if you’re in any profession, but especially if you’re in HR.

But if you’re like a few HR folks, you may be making four very simple, but costly mistakes in using it.

Here they are…

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Managing Up Without Sucking Up: Turn Your Boss Into A Powerful Ally & Advocate For Your HR Career

By Alan Collins

Converting your boss into a champion for your HR career is an absolute must if you want to progress in your current organization.

He or she determines the benchmarks for your success, influences how you’re viewed by the higher ups and can help sell you to the key decision makers.

However, you should think beyond just your immediate job.

Your boss today can also become someone that you are in touch with for the rest of your life. Sure, you’ll work for this person — probably for a short time, maybe as little as a few months or a year or two — but you should seek to build a relationship for the long run.

HR is a tight knit community of two million professionals globally with people often connecting in strange and mysterious ways.  So, you never know what role your current boss will play a part in your future, who they will put you in front of, or the job opportunities they could lead you to.

Clearly, you want to have people in your network who can speak highly of you, talk about your professional capabilities or make recommendations when you need them. And your boss can potentially be one of those people now…or twenty years from now.

So, building a productive relationship with him or her is a no-brainer and should be high on your priority list.

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FREE EBOOK: 22 Ways To Boost Employee Engagement — Get Your Copy Now!

by Alan Collins

Tim Eisenhauer has authored an absolutely fantastic, easy-to-read, 99-page FREE ebook packed with information from some of the best workplaces in America.

And he’s giving it away – with no strings attached.  I’m usually very picky on what I recommend on this blog — but this is a no brainer.

This is a “must add” to your HR library and if you get ONE itty-bitty idea from it, it’s worth every penny of your investment, which is nothing.

As an HR pro, one of the most important roles you can play is to collaborate with your managers and help them enhance the results they get from their people and drive higher levels of employee engagement.

This e-book covers 22 best practices from companies like Google, Zappos and SAS that will instantly help you increase employee engagement in your company and covers topics such as:

And besides all that, it’s fun to read!  So, if you intend to keep up with your competitors, keep your best people, and attract new talent, you must do what it takes to help your employees thrive.

TO GET YOUR COPY:  All you have to do is click HERE, provide your contact information and it’s yours.  I’d do it right now before Tim comes to his senses and slaps a $25 price tag on this.



About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals including such as UNWRITTEN HR RULES and HR RESUME SECRETS.  He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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The “A” Factor – The Strategy For Getting Ahead Faster in Your HR Career!

by Alan Collins

Before I tell you what the “A” factor is, let me share the true story of two HR leaders.

Their names: Colleen and Karen.

They are very much alike.

Both currently work for the same company, but in different divisions.

Both are brilliant.

Both have graduate degrees in HR.  Both have SPHR certifications.  And both have roughly equivalent HR, leadership and business skills (at least in my view).

However, Colleen has struggled for seven years just to stay employed in HR. Even though she is extremely bright, she has progressed very little, if any, financially and career-wise during those years.  She constantly looks over her shoulder fearing that the ax could fall on her job at any moment.

Karen started in HR six years ago. She’s been promoted three times during this time and her career has grown by leaps and bounds.   She’s now preparing to leave the “comfort” (probably the wrong word, but you know what I mean) of a large corporation to go off on her own as an independent HR consultant.  And, I absolutely have no doubt she’ll be successful.

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8 Ways To Make Employers and Great HR Job Opportunities Come To You..

by Alan Collins

The best organizations and recruiters pride themselves on being seek out and find top HR talent. 

The only problem is they never seem to call when YOU most want to be found.

As an alternative, what about flipping the script?

What about positioning yourself so that the odds in your favor that YOU are the one they call with their next terrific HR opportunity.


Well, here you go — eight ways you can make that happen:

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Has Your HR Career Has Fallen Off The Fast Track? How To Tell & What To Do About It…

By Alan Collins

Most HR professionals working in corporate America would kill to be on “the list.”

What list?

You know the one.

That coveted list of elite individuals known as “high potentials,” “rising stars,” “fast trackers,” or “key successors.”

Most medium to large organizations maintain this kind of secret list. On it are the chosen ones — those seen as clearly promotable one or two levels beyond their current HR role and identified through Succession Planning or Talent Reviews held every year.

These are the people that will get the first crack at promotions, plumb assignments and are slated to get fast tracked through the organization.

As an HR pro, I’m sure you’re familiar with this process.

But here’s your dilemma…

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How To Become An Expert In Just About Anything in HR – Fast!

by Alan Collins

Years ago I was passed over for a promotion in HR because I lacked labor relations experience.

While I had some experience, it wasn’t enough.

I was “too light.”

The hiring manager knew it.

And I knew it.

I didn’t get pissed off, because it was true.

And there was no whining.  No drama.  No debate.

But I decided to do something about it.

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