In 2007 when I started my life as an HR blogger I had no idea that I’d be “here” today. I had given a professional blog some thought to differentiate myself among other HR professionals who served as my professional competition in the city where I lived. As a middle manager human resource director, I’ve always had a point of view. It just got lost in translation or sidelined due to office politics. I was of tired of not having a voice. I was tired of not having a voice to the obvious. I was tired, frustrated, and disenchanted with the corporate world of HR. In HR like the rest of the corporate world, you work hard and pay your dues. You climb the corporate ladder. You pay your dues. It is only once you’ve been made you have a voice. The HR Blogger turned this notion upside-down.
The practitioner’s point of view often gets lost in a series of marathon conference calls to determine the scheduling for the next week’s meeting. I was tired of being invisible. I started a blog.
I really think that’s where the power lies for the HR Blogger. We’re underestimated, flexible, and open to experimentation. Unlike the VP of HR for a Fortune 200 Company, I have much less to loose. My 30 year professional reputation is not at stake. I am a practitioner just like you. There’s power in speaking to the likeminded professional, and for most corporate HR professionals, their working world is spent alone. As a keeper of policy and procedure and flip flop police, we don’t have friends at work because chances are your friend will be the center of next week’s workplace investigation. And we can’t take that chance. This is cynical but true. You, the HR Blogger have a common bond through life and experiences working and living in the world of HR. There are literally millions of HR professionals riding the waves of office politics and many who have also had enough. They need to hear your voice. There’s power in you.
These practitioner-level HR Bloggers set out to solve problems and share their knowledge. There were no rules to play by so we made our own. What we found were best friendships, business opportunities, and passion.
Bloggers defy traditional HR because we blazed our own trail. We didn’t pay the industry dues the same way. Dubbed online influencers and thought leaders we’re stuck somewhere between an industry analyst and an expert. We are ostersized by some because we didn’t follow the traditional path while being respected and revered because we have a voice.
For human resources to truly be successful it starts in the field. It starts with you. The internet, social media, and blogging gives the practitioner the power to influence the way it has always been. You can be a part of turning it into what it can be.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. When she talks, people listen.