We Rise In HR By Lifting Others…

by Alan Collins

A few weeks ago, an executive search firm reached out to me with a fantastic HR job interview opportunity.  It’s something I would have crawled across a field of broken glass to get a few years ago.

But not today.

So, I told him I wasn’t in the job market at this time — but I did refer him to two other people who I highly recommended.

He was elated!

Here are three lessons I continue to believe in:

Lesson #1:
Always refer others for opportunities.

It only takes a few moments out of your day to do this.

But to someone in your network, it could change their life and the direction of their career forever.

Lesson #2:
Create “win-win”outcomes whenever your can.

In this case, hopefully I helped two former colleagues, Kevin and Marianne, score interviews for an awesome HR position in a high-profile organization.

And I assisted the recruiter connect with a couple of exceptional job candidates.

That’s a win-win to me.

And finally…

Lesson #3:
There are always folks we know looking for better opportunities, so let’s help each other out.

There are always recruiters, headhunters and search professionals looking for outstanding candidates.

So make it a point to help folks in your tribe out — whenever you can.

That’s the beauty of having a network of contacts and personal relationships you value.

That’s the beauty of having connections on LinkedIn.

That’s the beauty of participating in Meetups, Networking and Mastermind Groups.

It allows you to build a network of professionals that you can help.

Why?  Because…

“We rise in HR by lifting others!”

Here’s what I mean.  When you share your talents, knowledge, ideas — and yes, your contacts with others — you activate the principle of reciprocity.

This principle is a powerful one that operates anytime you give someone something they weren’t expecting.

It naturally inspires them to look to return the favor to YOU in some way…because they somehow you feel indebted and obligated to even the score.   Some people call this karma.  No matter what you call it, putting this powerful principle to work for you in your career in HR can be very effective.

However, a caution: don’t be disappointed if some people don’t spring forward to reciprocate immediately.

The “good karma” you’ve generated will return the favor down the road – maybe not from this person – but from places you might not expect.  I’m convinced of it.


Here’s the bottom line on all this…

If you’re looking to attract a continuous stream of opportunities – HR job leads, promotional opportunities, consulting gigs, business contacts and helpful information — leverage your network…but do it with an emphasis on HELPING OTHERS FIRST.

Do this all the time, even if you are happily employed or considered indispensable in your organization.  Unfortunately, you never know when a sudden business change outside of your control will result in your needing the assistance of those you’ve helped.

It’s worth remembering that…




Got thoughts and additional insights?  Post them in the comments below by clicking HERE.

Want more insights for taking your HR career to the next level then check out:  WINNING BIG IN HR: 100+ Powerful Strategies For Accomplishing Great Results Faster & Getting Your Clients To Rave About You As A Human Resources Professional!   For more detailed information about this book, go HERE. 


…Or if you’re a brand new HR leader, and you want to get off to a fast start and launch yourself successfully in your new role, then check out:  THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS: How To Start Strong, Hit The Ground Running & ACHIEVE SUCCESS FASTER As A New Human Resources Manager, Director and VP.  You can get more details HERE.

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 WINNING BIG IN HR and THE NEW HR LEADER’S FIRST 100 DAYS. 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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