When I went to college, I told the career counselor I wanted to major in Speech Communication and in Studio Art. I was promptly told, "You can't do that. Communication goes with Business and Art goes with Theatre." I then made it clear to her that I was both an extrovert AND an introvert and those two majors combined were who I am. And I went on to say that because I was paying for my education - I intended to get what I wanted regardless of what she thought I should do. Four years later, I left college having conferred those two degrees.
Then, in my late twenties, I inherited a business. Overnight, I became what would now be called the chief operations officer of a privately owned franchise of a national company, co-owned by my fiancé and his dad. They had been business partners until the father was incapacitated from a terminal illness creating an urgent need for me to step in and run the business.
When the family asked for my help, I was working full-time in marketing communication applying my two college degrees and my interests in psychology, communication and media. And although the abrupt work and life change was completely against my will; today, I believe it was divine intervention to put me on my true career path.
Over the next four years, I 'earned' what I call the blood, sweat and tears version of a business degree while figuring out how to best operate and grow a business I knew nothing about. Because the one person who could teach me the business was in a coma, I tapped into my innate strengths of responsibility, strategy and resourcefulness to learn and apply my talents all the aspects of company organization and operations: logistics, customer service, finance, legal, human resources, sales, marketing, etc. and apply that knowledge to help the business thrive and scale.
While I learned the ins and outs of business management, I also learned very acutely that businesses are about PEOPLE. The core of business is HUMAN BEHAVIOR in relation to leadership direction, job duties/tasks and the flow of money. Simply put, the right human talents aligned with good leadership and supported by sound organizational systems make a company profitable - or not. Therefore, if you want to make money in business - you have to be open to learning about and appreciating people and understanding human behavior.
When we sold the business after successfully increasing profits 200% year-over-year, I had the option to get back on my original career path in marketing or to focus on what I’d learned in the business. It was then that I made a conscious decision to go into Human Resources. I chose to work in the area of the business where I could use my business acumen, work experience and education to directly influence:
- the way TALENT was attracted, hired and deployed,
- how managers and leaders were trained to enable their people to be productive and engaged in their careers and,
- ultimately help them all align their job responsibilities to the company's business strategy in order to enable it to be profitable.
So, that’s what I did. And I have been helping talented people ever since.
“The reality of life is that your perceptions – right or wrong – influence everything else you do. When you get a proper perspective of your perceptions, you may be surprised how many other things fall into place.”
- Dr Roger W Birkman