I worked at the psychiatric facility for about five years. My title never changed. The entire time I was considered the Interim HR Director. Because I was still a one-person show and was afraid hire a temp who might take my job, I worked long hours and learned almost everything you could about HR. I changed my degree program from Education to HR as mentioned early
Our hospital was gobbled up by a larger group who offered me a position in Cleveland. I thought about the possibilities, but Denver trumped Cleveland and I decided to look for work. I was almost immediately hired by a small local bank who was interested in building an HR department. This seemed perfect for me and I stayed there a few years. Although my first meeting with the bank’s CEO did not go well. He explained to me that the cashiers at each of the banks handled all the HR responsibilities and that the only reason he was hiring a Director of HR was because his board was making him do so.
For a while, he put my office right next to his and I literally had no business. We were all afraid of him and kept our distance. I sometimes wondered how I stayed so long working for a borderline bipolar individual, but I learned a lot and this foundation got me hired at BDM which became BDM International which was purchased by TRW which became TRW international and then my group was purchased by Northrop Grumman – but you have already heard that story. I think I had 15 different business cards saying the same thing differently.
There were some bizarre things that happened along the way but when I got to NG I became part of the executive HR staff. I was constantly asked what brought me to HR. Some folks were nicer than others but the message was always the same “aren’t you too smart to be doing this?”. Back then, I was super committed to my career path and would defend it and explain why it was such an important department. I still believe that HR is crucial to the company success, I would just like to see HR handled more like project management. There are so many tools in Lean Six Sigma that would make it HR department run better faster and more cost-effectively.