In this week’s blog, I wanted to look at a subject that’s close to my heart. It’s something that affects the majority of us, particularly in HR roles, and one I hear so much about. It’s also one of the driving forces for me creating MyPeopleClub in the first place! There have been so many times in my career where loneliness has been felt, from being the only HR person in a business – which is not too uncommon, to being a HRD and now as a self-employed HR consultant.
It’s very real and many of us, myself included, have suffered in silence, and this is where my idea for the HR community at MyPeopleClub came from – wouldn’t it be great if we all had a safe place to come to, to offload concerns, share problems, vent and celebrate those all important wins with people who just get it – no judgement, no politics, just support and love.
As you’ll be more than aware of in our HR roles, we’re often required to do a lot of face-to-face interaction, but this can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, especially when dealing with sensitive or confidential matters. HR are always busy (yes, when everyone else was furloughed, HR were still working all day every day trying to manage it all!), we get burnt out, we rarely get down time and sometimes it just all gets a bit too much.
Today, let me support you and share with you some things that have helped me overcome the feelings of loneliness, frustration, tiredness, isolation etc, over the years and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Firstly, I can’t stress enough how much you’ll need to prioritise self-care. By prioritising YOU and taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle the demands of your job and avoid burnout. For me, this can range from scheduling in those breaks in between meetings when things are chaotic in the diary (when are they not!) to building in some R&R and enjoying the things that bring joy to you, for me this is reflexology, reiki, getting my nails done or just time outdoors exploring with Luna, it all depends on time and how I’m feeling!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy to factor self-care in, but I’ve become much better at organising my diary, time-blocking, having firm boundaries over the years and it really has helped.
Another important step is to build those connections with your colleagues. As an HR professional, we have a unique opportunity to get to know people across the organisation. Make an effort to build relationships with your co-workers, not just within HR, but across different departments. This will help you feel more connected and less isolated.
If you haven’t already worked out, I’m a personal development junkie, I think it’s important to seek out professional development opportunities. Things like attending conferences, workshops, and other events can help you stay up to date on industry trends and they’re great opportunities to connect with other HR professionals from outside your organisation. Additionally, it can be helpful to seek out a mentor or coach who can provide guidance and support. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and guidance I’ve had from coaches and mentors along the way. I honestly think everyone would benefit from a coach and/or mentor!
I think it’s really important to remember that loneliness is a common issue that affects many people, not just us in HR roles. It can often feel like you’re the only one experiencing these feelings, but remember, you’re not alone, and there are many strategies you can use to manage loneliness in your HR role.
In our community, loneliness gets mentioned quite a bit and to help with that, we are going to be starting monthly meet up sessions on Zoom – it’s a chance to actually get to know some people in the HR community, have a social, network, make some new friends. If you’re interested, keep your eyes peeled in the groups for all the details.
Take those proactive steps to tackle loneliness and maintain a healthy work-life balance, and if you want a little support along the way come on over and join our community on Facebook or LinkedIn.