Despite everything, the future is bright.
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The good old Swedish four-week vacation is upon us, or I suspect it has already begun for some of you. Everything that needed to be done in the spring is now hopefully done. If you are like me, try to get everything done in the last few weeks before the vacations that you should be doing throughout the spring.
Hence the late newsletter this week, or actually last week.
But here we are now, getting closer to vacation and talking about hope.
In Sweden, we have an idiom that goes like this if you translate it directly from Swedish to English: You can't see the forest for all the trees. You get so caught up in the details that you miss the bigger picture.
It's easy to end up there. I think we all do it from time to time.
We're getting dragged into the daily struggles of HR. There are positions to be filled. People are misbehaving. There are strategic plans for talent management to be made. Managers need someone to bounce ideas with.
It's not only understandable; it's the way it should be.
But I have to admit that it sometimes feels like an endless struggle. A constant battle with no clear end. And the question is, does it even matter? Do we count as a profession?
As mentioned in a previous post, this year marks the tenth anniversary since I graduated from the human resources program in Gothenburg. And as tradition has it, you have a reunion when you hit the 10-year mark. And the reunion brought…hope.
Even though we've all taken different paths after graduation, the foundation we got while studying has proven solid. I have always felt strongly that education provided this for me. Seeing and hearing my former classmates resonate around all things people makes me an even stronger believer that the HR programs at universities are really laying a solid foundation for better workplaces in the future. I'm so biased here that it's almost unnecessary to point it out. Not only do we share the same knowledge base, but we also share more or less the exact same three foundational years.
But still, hearing stories from the trenches of HR, how cases have been handled, how people take responsibility, and having a clear business-driven agenda makes my HR-heart flutter.
And it was not a given. Many of us who graduated then wondered what would become of us. What would we actually do? On the back of this, it makes me a bit extra happy to see how well we've landed in our work-life.
And the best is yet to come. Because even though we are getting older, I'd still like to think we are the future. This is perhaps a naive thought, but I still think it holds true. We still have at least twenty-five years left before we start retiring. We're not even mid-career. More HR people will take on CHRO roles in the coming years. Our influence over organizations will (likely) increase until we meet again in ten years.
And that gives me hope. Hope that our workplaces will be slightly better in ten years. Hope that HR as a profession will take even further steps forward. Hope that life, in general, will improve. Perhaps I'm too much of an optimist, but so be it. I'm still hoping.