How To REALLY Measure Your Success in HR…

By Alan Collins

I’m sure you may have heard this story before or some variation of it. 

But hang with me here for a few moments and check it out again. 

It’s worth it because it will give you some important food for thought about attaining TRUE success in your career in HR.

That said, here you go…

An investment banker was meeting over dinner with his new client, a former HR manager.

The HR guy, after ten years in Corporate America was now running his own successful, independent, one-person executive search firm.

The banker, who was providing investment advice, complimented the former HR manager on his earnings over the past two years and asked him how long it took to earn them.

The former HR manager replied, “Actually, not that much time. I have a small group of loyal clients.  I work from home and do most of my business over phone and online. Overall, I guess I spend about 25-30 hours a week on my business.”

The banker then asked, “Why don’t you work longer, accumulate more clients and generate even more income for yourself.”

The former HR manager replied, “What I’m doing now provides more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

The banker pressed, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The former HR manager answered, “Well, I sleep late, take weekends off, fish a little, play with my kids, and take long vacations with my wife, Sue. We’ve been all over the world. On weekends, I sip a little wine and play guitar with my buddies in our rock band at bars and restaurants all over this little town…I have a full and busy life.”

The banker scoffed. “I’m a Harvard MBA and could help you. Instead of working from home, you should buy some office space in town, hire a couple of recruiters and spend more time aggressively marketing your headhunting services to clients.”

“With the proceeds from having more clients, you could then open offices around the country and expand your operations across the U.S. Eventually you could grow your business internationally and have an organization of consultants, recruiters and HR executives working for you from all over the world.”

“You’d leave this sleepy little town and move to Chicago, then Los Angeles and eventually New York, where you’d oversee your ever-expanding empire.”

The former HR manager asked, “But how long will all this take?”

The banker replied, “Fifteen to twenty years.”

“When then?” asked the former HR manager.

The banker laughed. “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO, sell your company’s stock to the public, and become a very rich man.  You’d make millions.”

“Millions?…Wow!  Then what?”

“Then you’d retire. Move into a small town, sleep late, take weekends off, fish a little, play with your kids, and take long vacations with your wife. And on weekends, sip a little wine and play guitar with your buddies in your rock band.”

Why am I telling you this story?  What does this have to do with your HR career?

In a word:  Everything.

Let me ask you…

How are you measuring YOUR OWN success in HR?

Is it by how much money you’re making and the pricey things you’re accumulating…OR is it by the priceless things you have for which you would not take money (your freedom, space or self-satisfaction)?

Said differently, is your success in HR all about pursuing an impressive LIFESTYLE …OR a fulfilling LIFE!

Clearly, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either choice. And, in an ideal world, they can go perfectly hand in hand.

However, there are lots of folks, from newbies to executives in HR, paying a huge price for what they are getting out of their careers.  They are:

…just to chase a lifestyle.

Maybe all this applies to you and maybe not.

Everybody is different.  And we all make trade-offs every day.

However, I believe…

The ultimate measure of your success
in HR is working towards
a fulfilling life,
not just an impressive lifestyle.

And right now, candidly…can you say that about your HR career?

If not, what are you doing about it?

Do you have a game plan?

Are you taking action against it?

Just food for thought.


Please view the comments on this article or add your own below by clicking HERE.


Want specific strategies to advance you towards a fulfilling career in Human Resources? Then check out:  UNWRITTEN HR RULES: 21 Strategies For Attaining Awesome Career Success in Human Resources.  You can find more details by going HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals  including UNWRITTEN HR RULES.   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 Awesome Power of Standing Up For Yourself in HR

by Alan Collins

Years ago, I made an honest, but frustrating mistake many HR professionals make.

It was one that taught me the value of standing up for yourself and sticking to your guns — when you  know you’re right.

It occurred when a hiring executive called me and wanted me to make an offer to an outstanding engineering candidate.

The position had been tough to fill.  We’d been searching for months and interviewed tons of candidates.  But we had finally landed our person.

I called the candidate. Made a verbal offer of $130K plus our standard bonus and benefit package.  The candidate was overjoyed and he verbally accepted over the phone. Everything clicked.

Except one thing.

Click here to read the rest of this article!

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No HR Job Offers? Here Are 7 Things Your Interviewers Know, But Aren’t Telling You!

by Alan Collins

Are you getting interviews but no offers?

While it’s great to get invited in to interview for your HR dream job, it’s a bummer if afterwards they don’t SHOW YOU THE MONEY!

However, let’s face it.  You’re not likely to get every single HR job for which you interview.  Some jobs are meant for you and some jobs aren’t.

But, when you habitually get overlooked when it comes to job offers, or even second interviews, it’s time to step back and figure out where you have room to improve.

The simplest way to find out why you’re not getting offers is to just call up the people you interviewed with and get feedback from them.   Easy to do, right?  Yes, it is…


Here’s why:   
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Ever Missed Out On A Great Career Opportunity in HR? Here’s What You Should Do Next.

by Alan Collins

“Are you crazy?”

That was Art’s reaction when his close friend, Walter tried to convince him to buy some vacant land.

And who could blame him. After all, this land was located 25 miles off the main highway.

And there was absolutely nothing there — besides a few trees, a broken down fence and couple of horses grazing.

However, Walter begged Art to reconsider.

Click here to read the rest of this article!

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Elevating Your HR Career — The ONE Thing You Must Do In 2016 To Make It Your Best Year Yet…

By Alan Collins

Five HR people are sitting in a conference room.

Two decide to go to the CEO to present their new breakthrough idea for improving employee retention.

Question:  How many HR folks are left in that conference room?

The answer may surprise you.

It’s FIVE!
Five people are still there.

Explanation: Deciding is not DOING!

Click here to read the rest of this article!

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26 Tips For Stepping Up Your HR Career in 2016…

by Alan Collins

It’s that time again.

2016 is NOW upon us.

Now is the time to DECIDE what you want to accomplish in the New Year.

Yes, right now.

But you shouldn’t just make any old kind of flimsy commitments.

What are the initiatives that you will tackle in 2016 that can REALLY take your HR career to the next level?

Stuck for ideas?  Not sure where to start?

No problem.

Click here to read the rest of this article!

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12 Steps To Take BEFORE You Lose Your HR Job…

by Alan Collins

About to lose your HR job?

Welcome to the group.

Thousands of HR folks have been laid off in the last year.

Even though there have been positive strides in our economy, even more of our HR colleagues may lose their jobs before the year is officially over.

In fact, if you’ve ever seen the classic movie, Up In The Air (with George Clooney &  Anna Kendrick pictured above), you were brutally reminded of one indisputable fact…

When the ax falls, most people are caught completely
by surprise…are NOT PREPARED!

There’s an important message in this movie for HR professionals:  if YOU are getting downsized or fired from your own HR job, chances are you WON’T know about it beforehand.

You will not be warned.

You won’t know about it until happens…even if you’re in charge of all company layoffs yourself.

Sure you can pick up on little clues.  But whether there are clues or not, you do NOT want to be caught without a game plan.

So, with that in mind, here are 12 steps to follow if you think you’re about to get let go…

To find out what these 12 steps are…CLICK HERE

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Get Your Copy of HR INTERVIEW SECRETS Today!

by Alan Collins

For 8 months, I’ve been working quietly behind the scenes on my eighth book (pictured left).

It’s been an exhausting process.

But the book is finally done.

I notified my subscribers about it a few days ago, and now we’re going public and letting the readers of Success in HR know about it…


But first, let me give you the scoop on the book.

It has been developed to be an “HR career game changer”

And, I will say without hesitation that — while the topic is not new — there is nothing else like it for HR professionals!

Click here for more information!

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How To Make A Name For Yourself In HR in 3 Simple Steps!

By Alan Collins

This week I got two requests to speak at HR conferences.

One I turned down because it didn’t fit my schedule. The other I’ll definitely do because it’s in a fantastic location, even if it does involve boarding a plane, which I absolutely despise.

Both came from local SHRM program committee leaders I’d never seen, talked to or met before.

I get these requests often and wind up turning down 95% of them.

Let me be clear:  I don’t share any of this to brag. But rather to illustrate the importance of making a name for yourself in HR.

But not the kind of name that first pops into your mind.

Click here to read the rest of this article!

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