HR Rap Session: The Love of HR (2/3)

Up next on this installment of the HR Rap Session is Jessica Miller-Merrell

It was 2001, and a 23-year-old woman had just graduated college.  She was bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and green.  Excited and nervous, she stepped into her first job in the professional world.  Unaware what the world of human resources would have in store for her.

The story that you are about to read is a love story.  It is one not of forbidden love but destinied love between a girl who was a budding entrepreneur, an anthropology and business major and the world of HR.

Yes, this story is about me . . .

While most students study human resources in college with a goal of entering the industry, this was one I had not considered. I wanted to be a Cultural Anthropologist, a person who studies human behaviors and in a way I am.  Except that the cultures in this case are organizations.  Through most of my college, I juggled the responsibilities of school between my growing commercial cleaning business.  I didn’t follow through attending post-graduate school as the draw of making a paycheck and a purpose was greater.

Target has a phenomenal manager-training program.  For four weeks, I learned every aspect of the business, and I was most interested in building end caps and merchandising.  I know we covered that HR stuff, but I didn’t give it a second thought.  Upon graduation, I job shadowed someone in my new role and first encountered the field of human resources.

Vickie, my mentor greeted me with a Starbucks in hand wearing a khaki jump suit with a red shirt underneath.  She took the red and khaki to a whole new level making my polo and khaki slacks look just okay.  Vickie had a list of things for us to do my first day, which included processing payroll and candidate interviews.  There was no mention of building end caps so I asked, “What’s the deal?”

“Didn’t someone tell you?  You’re going to be a Human Resource Manager,” said Vickie.

And that, my friends is how I collided with the world of HR.  You see HR picked me mostly because I was their only option. I was made even angry and even considered putting in my resignation and walking away, but not being a person who gives up I stayed, and learned to love HR.

I quickly realized during my first holiday season the integral role that human resource plays in the success of the business.  That first holiday, I was tasked with hiring and onboarding nearly 200 seasonal employees.  My role in HR was directly responsible for the success of the “guest” experience as I worked with my team to develop an employee schedule while also serving as a confidant to my peers.

I’m a believer in karma and sometimes just letting things be.  This was one of those times.  You see, HR had bigger plans for me.  So while I was falling in love with HR and earning my stripes in the corporate HR folds, another thing happened.  I fell in love with blogging and indirectly achieved my dream.   I am a Cultural Anthropologist of sorts, a workplace technology strategist providing companies and the world of HR insights and instruction into the world of work.


Jessica Miller-Merrell is a HR Professional working from the hugely successful “blogging4jobs” umbrella. She blogs, speaks, and consults. She an author and all-round important voice in the HR community. You can connect with her on twitter here and linkedin here.