Does your work define you?

I’ve recently found myself doing a double take when I meet new people and have to introduce myself.  After I introduce myself, I pause. I realize that I’ve defined myself by my work. The more times I pause, the more it makes me worry that all I am is my work. My introductions often sound like this, “Hi, my name is Lina and I work in HR.” Depending on the setting, I’ll go further with details about my education in HR, perhaps my fairly recent certificate in HR, and that I met the friend standing next to me from an HR event. It’ll always revert back to my work in HR.

Perhaps it’s my Gemini-ness that makes me think, why not define yourself with what you do because isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all want a career that makes us jump up out of bed and love every minute of our day? Don’t we want to do what we love most? We often hear college students searching for their calling or those between careers say they’re looking for something that makes their heart sink. On the other hand, is that all we are? Are we just our work? Can’t we be more interesting and talk about something that we do outside of the hours of 8 to 5?

If you think you don’t have this problem or have a witty introduction, please share. I seek your advice! Otherwise, here’s a quick way to figure out if you’re like me. Can you fill in the rest of these three statements without talking about what you do for work?

I am…

I like…

I appreciate when…

If you’re wondering why these three statements in particular, let me introduce you to my newest obsession. It’s called Datings Apps! Yes, you heard me.  I’ve recently heard of this new app called Coffee Meets Bagel and decided to check it out. You might have seen their product on Shark Tank. This app is free to start and simple to use. People are given those three statements to share with their profile. It stumped me because I couldn’t breeze through it like an HR form and we all know how HR likes forms. The search for true love has many similarities as HR. It’s said that HR/hiring mangers often make judgments in less than 10 seconds. First impressions whether in person or via resume are no different than swiping right, right?

To add to my new fascination, I’ve made it a point to read the hand full of profiles this app shares with me daily. Let me just say that it takes less than 10 seconds to decide and no more than a few each week make me say, “oh, interesting!” I bet my current self introduction makes many people not really want my business card either.

At the 2017 SHRM Hawaii Conference, Neen James , an attention expert, was our keynote. She made me wonder about this and I’ve come to terms that it is okay to be my work but there’s a better way to introduce myself. It will forever be a working draft but here’s my new and improved introduction to use IRL inspired by a dating app and an attention expert.

Hi, my name is Lina.

I am…passionate about people and their work. It fascinates me how people are the highest single line item expense for most organizations yet HR is not always at the table.

I like…being in HR, providing solutions to the business units I support, and watching employees grow into leaders.

I appreciate when…managers in any department as well as the organization’s leaders look to HR as a true partner by engaging us in decision conversations from the get go.

It’s so great to meet you! Will you swipe right?



2018 SOLO

We all say it and we all hear it right? “This is the year!” Right? Right. I mean it! I am making this the year. 2018 is going to be big and this year I’m committing to a few things. I’ll save those New Year’s resolution thoughts for another day but today I just want to get started with how I’m committing to this space. To put some thoughts in writing.

My word this year is “Solo”. Solo for me will be a time to be with myself, to be with my own thoughts, and to be choosing experiences with just me. This might sound like some commitment to be a loner or on the opposite spectrum someone with attachment issues. It’s neither. Society has gotten us to the point where we can’t sit alone at restaurants or bars and enjoy the company of ourselves. We can’t be in a waiting space (any room, line, or moment) without digging out our phones and looking busy not alone. I am definitely guilty of this need to be with someone, something, and somewhere not alone. Hence, solo will be this year’s goal. This post is the beginning as time will be dedicated to writing in a solo space.



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