Thứ Sáu, 20 tháng 3, 2015

Working With HR Clients From Hell? Here Are Two Quick Tips For Dealing With Them…

By Alan Collins | successinhr.Com/hr-clients-from-hell

On a few occasions, I’ve had the delightful privilege of working with the client from hell.

You know the type…

The client that doesn’t think HR can do anything right.
The client you dread getting telephone calls from.
The client, who when his or her name pops up on your phone, you feel like throwing up before answering the call.
The client that you lay awake the night before trying to figure out a way to avoid meeting with the next day.
The client that no matter what you do, no matter what HR heroics you pull off, will find something to beat you up for.

You feelin’ me?

As an HR professional, you’ll work with a lot of clients. Obviously, 95% of them will be terrific and won’t have horns or carry a pitchfork.

Here’s the point: One of the best things you’ll ever do for your HR career is to seek out and work with the Tonys of the world. There are lots of them out there — in all organizations, at all levels — from Warehouse Manager to CEO.

These clients are looking for great HR folks also. They want to partner with those who share and can help them realize their own visions for their organizations.

But make no mistake about it, clients like Tony are very demanding and won’t hesitate to kick you in the butt too…but in the process will also grow you, stretch you, challenge you, inspire you, nurture you and give you tough love along the way. And that’s what you want.

Now, having seen Tony, let’s get back to the original point of this article: What do you do to address clients from hell?  Two quick tips.

1. Avoid them in the first place.

When you’re interviewing for that new HR job, interview the company as hard as they are interviewing you. Ask insightful and tough questions to the business leader of the client group you’ll be supporting.

If the business leader or your main client is too busy to meet with you, that’s a big red flag.

And, again, a poor match will make your HR life a living hell. If you don’t know what to look for when interviewing your clients, it’s easy. You want to try and get as close to a Tony as you can.

2. If you’re already in a bad client relationship, start your exit strategy.

You want to pull the plug on this assignment ASAP. Your options: Transfer. Post for a new job. Have a candid discussion with your boss about another client or assignment. Leave the organization. Or offer to job swap with some other unsuspecting HR colleague (hey, just kidding!).

Either way, whatever you do, don’t fall in the trap of trying to fix this person. Research conducted by the Center For Creative Leadership reveals that trying to change your client is a waste of time – especially if they’ve been around awhile and their behavior has been tolerated. So stop wishing he or she will change and put your own needs first.

If your exit from this role is going to take some time, don’t be vindictive. Be patient and bide your time. Continue to give this jerk the same responsive, professional, value-added HR support that you always have. Just because you’re getting crapped on, is no excuse to return the favor.

However, don’t plan to stay in this role long. In volatile times with downsizing still occurring in many organizations, you never can tell how much weight this madman’s perceptions will be given in HR layoff decisions.

Let me be clear: the “personal development,” “character building” and the +5% compensation bribe…er, increase you might get to work with bad clients is overrated. It may sound great at the time, but isn’t worth it. Whatever you gain developmentally is offset by the hit you take to your HR reputation, your personal self-esteem and your mental sanity.

Life’s too short.

Avoid toxic clients at all costs.

You deserve better.

Onward!

Top 10 Ways to Find Your Career Path

If you're not sure which direction your career should go in, you're thinking about making a career change, or you just want to feel more fulfilled in your career, these ten tips might help.

Ideally, everyone would know their true calling early in life and find happiness in their work, but it often doesn't work that way. One survey (of New York professionals) found that they expected to change careers three times in their lifetimes; lifelong careers may not be the norm any more.

That said, we know there are better ways to choose a career than just following your parents' footsteps or choosing randomly. Here are some ideas.

10. Think About What Excites and Energizes You



This one's the first obvious step—we all want to enjoy and actually like our careers. (Perhaps the biggest sign you're on the wrong path is if you dread talking about your job.) While passion isn't the only requirement for being content in your career, many would say it's still essential, if only because passion is what keeps you going even through the tough times. Is there a job you would do job for free?

9. But Also Keep in Mind What You're Good At



Maybe you don't feel that passionate about any specific career—or you love multiple areas and can't decide on just one. Then it's time to think about your personality and focus on the skills you have. "Don't do what you love. Do what you are."

8. Take a Test



Well, you say, what if you don't know what you're good at or even what you're interested in? Career assessment tests in college or even high school help narrow down a field (perhaps with the Myers-Briggs personality index), but if it's been a while since you took those tests, there are other kinds of assessment tests you can take. This one from Rasmussen College matches your self-reported skills and interests with potential jobs. (And they also have a salary and job growth interactive chart.) For potential programmers, Switch recommends a coding career based on your preferences. About.Com's Job Search site has a collection of other career tests.

You can also find a career that fits your motivational focus with this assessment test.

7. Try an Internship



If you have flexibility when it comes to salary, an internship could be a great way to test out an industry or type of career—and eventually get a full-time job (especially if you have no prior experience). Even if it doesn't turn into a job or you find out it's the wrong career for you, an internship can help build your network—from which you can get career and job advice. (Not all internships are just about picking up coffee. For example, Google internships, while hard to come by, put you to real work.)

6. Find a Mentor



A mentor could help you take your career to the next level and give you the insider insight to help you make sure you're on the right path. Here's how to ask someone to be your mentor.

If there's a career you're interested in, you might also check to see if any companies or people in that line of work would let you shadow them for a few days to see what it's really like.

5. Explore Unconventional Careers



We all know the popular careers available to us—doctor, lawyer, teacher, computer engineer, police officer, store owner, etc. If you feel uninspired by the typical choices, know that there are thousands of unusual jobs you might not have heard about, hidden, perhaps, in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Handbook. Mashable has a list of six dream jobs that pay well (panda caretaker! Chocolate inspector!), Thought Catalog highlights 10 more (sex toy testers?!), and Chron lists a couple of others (along with related articles like "Unusual careers with animals" and "unusual accounting careers").

4. Ask Other People



Perhaps the best way to discover a new career is to ask other people about theirs—assuming you come into contact with people who don't all work in the same field. Your LinkedIn network (or other social media sites, but especially LinkedIn) might be a good place to start mining for information. Also, don't forget your local library's reference librarian can point you to career resources.

3. Use the G+P+V Formula



The perfect career for you would most likely fit the G+P+V formula, which stands for Gifts + Passions + Values. Consider your strengths and passions, as we've noted above, and your values—what's nonnegotiable about the way you work?

2. Make a Career Plan



As with most things, your career will benefit if you have goals and a plan for it. Maybe you think you want to be a writer, but the next step after that, is editing. (Do you really want to do that?) Or maybe you want to transition from being an editor to a restaurant owner. (How are you going to get there?) Map out where you want to go, with concrete milestones, as if it were a four-phase project.

1. See Your Career as a Set of Stepping Stones, Not a Linear Path



Of course, all these plans and ideas are never set in stone. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint and it can turn out to be a very winding road indeed, knitted together from all of your experiences into, hopefully, a career worth having.

Photos from VoodooDot (Shutterstock), OpenClips (Pixabay), Mopic (Shutterstock), sacks08, auremar (Shutterstock), Little Birth, bobsfever.

Lifehacker.Com

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