What Would I Do If I Quit HR?

There are a lot of frustrated HR professionals. Many are fed up with the behaviors of leaders. Others ready to throw all the compliance and administrative work out the window. There’s a lot of stress in dealing with other people’s baggage while trying to manage their own personal struggles. It’s enough to want throw in the towel and leave the whole HR industry.

I have had a few of those days in my 20 year career. Very early on, I thought about getting out of HR. I didn’t think the whole employee relations and drama were for me. But I found a fantastic mentor and was fortunate enough to get great exposure to training and development. I was hanging out in the leadership dining rooms before HR was talking about wanting to be in the table business.

I have been very fortunate to have some great bosses and leaders throughout my career. I have never left a boss. I left companies for more growth or to take on a once in a lifetime opportunity. I guess I’m the exception.

With all this frustration within the industry, I decided to play a little game and see what I would do if I actually left HR. It’s a Wednesday, and I’ve had it. This work has hit my last nerve and I’m done. So I decide to take the next two days off and map out what I’m going to do next. Heading to the beach and working in a tiki bar is not an option here because I still have bills to pay and mouths to feed. I have to make a reasonable transition. Huddy’s Hotcakes is in the long-term plan, but not just yet!

I have all of these great skills I’ve acquired through the years. And because I’ve been a savvy HR pro, I could finally join Marketing. Hey, all the cool HR and Talent kids are clamoring to secede from HR and join the Marketing world so I’m going for it. After all, recruiting is marketing so why wait? It will be great to go to an area where I’m respected. Where I have unlimited budget and can drive revenue. Where all my ideas are heard and I don’t have to listen to a client group tell me how to do my job and try to do their own thing. That’s how it works in Marketing, right?

I could also go into IT. I’m practically IT anyways with all this HR tech knowledge I have. HRIS, ATS, LMS, all in the cloud? Easy peasy. It will be so great to go to an organization where I can sit in my own world and develop all kinds of great things. No client groups calling me at all hours of the day because they can’t figure out the new Workday system. No more employee relations issues because all IT people are cool. No more talks of diversity or female hires. I never have to deal with “bro cultures” or “war for talent” in that space. Those days are over.

What about Accounting or Finance? Supply Chain or Operations? No whiny people or over-engineered processes there. No compliance or regulations or administrative work, either. I can finally kick my feet up on that strategic desk of mine and strategy all day in a lap of strategery. That’s how it works, right?

As I wrap up my four-day weekend to figure out my next career move, I realize there are HR issues everywhere. Each department has their struggles with collaboration, bad behaviors, attracting talent and getting buy-in from senior leaders. Just because you change titles or industries, doesn’t mean you get away from HR. You’re working with humans. They are amazing resources.

So I’m going to stay in my imperfect, wacky, crazy, beautiful world of HR. Those other department are nuts!


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