Human beings are complicated, confusing, messy sparks. They race around seeking freedom predicated on free expression which in turn is compensated with the imminent flow of unpleasant truths but also access to information, power and opportunity.
Yet in the end no matter how different our experiences are and how unrelated our paths we chose to follow are in the greater parts of our lives almost all of us face the fact that for 8 hours, 5 days a week we will need to dedicate our time, talent, passion, zest, emotional baggage, insecurities and skills into the greatest mystery ever to baffle mankind- our career.
Whether they come perfectly laid out on an employment contract with your signature on it, in a form of a firm handshake, or you just see their cheeky smile on your bank account balance, our jobs shape who we become, and what we leave behind.
I’ve held jobs with the sole purpose of making a profit for the owner, jobs where I got to change the world, underpaid jobs, and jobs that let me afford designer bags. I’ve worked alongside people from the most remote places on the planet, people from ivy league schools, people who had barely finished high school, bright people and people that thought the Earth was flat. I have worked in teams, and on my own, I’ve had to be an intern and a manager. No matter what environment I encountered people in, all of their stories sounded similar. They have been spending most of their lives dedicated to their career, yet most of them still felt dehumanized and dissatisfied from what they were getting in return, and none of them was referring to the financial benefits.
This made me realize that sooner or later I had to make a choice. Being aware of the fact that I was a natural workaholic, and was going to spend my 9 to 5 being brainwashed by capitalism, I had to decide if I was going to tolerate for the workplaces in the 21st century to depress me or seek like-minded people who will help me influence how entire systems in companies operate, develop and treat their employees.
One phone interview, a couple of lunch meetings, and some confusing British phrases later I was persuaded to take a walk on the wild side and got a job in HR. And that is where things got quite sexy. Don’t get confused by the fancy phrases I am using in this post, I know that it might all look put together now, but boy did I bite off more than I could chew. Before that first day of my new job the only thing I knew about HR, was what the letters H and R stood for.
You know when you are being set up on a blind date, and you convince yourself that you are not nervous at all and lower your expectations to the minimum, and then you meet the person and you like them, and you try your best to impress them? And then your voice suddenly changes pitch and you start word vomiting phrases that you think sound entertaining and cool and it seems to be working and you try to look like it’s ‘’no big deal’’ and like you are completely uninterested but in the back of your mind you are already practising how your name is going to sound with that person’s last name next to it? Well, that was how my first day of work in Causeway Connect looked like.
Luckily, and I understand that in many cases, people, unfortunately, do not experience this, I had a mentor who was like an encyclopedia on all things HR, with a forward in Psychology, who put up with my mid-day breakdowns, and most importantly had the same vision for the company as I did.
And so it began, an intensive ongoing crash course in the do’s and don’ts of HR, or what we like to call in Causeway, settling yourself onto a burning platform- but a very cool rose-coloured platform, with nice office views, hilarious coffee breaks, endless business trips and occasional late-night team parties ( for the people from our team reading this, don’t worry I will not disclose any of the things that may or may not have taken place after midnight in the bars )