When Passion Isn’t Practical

Reblogging this post to respond to today’s prompt, “Passionate” 

People, Places, and Perspectives.

It’s great to have passion. Fiery ideas that change the world often start burning in someone’s belly. Passion turns hard work into fun and challenges into adrenaline-fueled adventures. When you have passion it suddenly becomes easy to do the right thing and to fight. Character becomes effortless.

But what do you do when the thing that makes you tick and the thing that gives you your paycheck are no longer one and the same?

It takes uncomfortable effort and difficulty to force fit a square peg into a round hole and then keep it there. But when the right fit is still elusive life as it is goes on, so that has to be done.

You’re square. Your heart does not beat for the round hole. Your angular match has yet to be found.

This is when you summon your character in order to deliver in the midst of…

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Why I Am Glad to Be in Human Resources…and It’s Not What You Think

Until I stumbled into Human Resources by accident, I, like most people, thought that this was a mundane, administration- and process-oriented field of work. But oh boy, how wrong I was.

In the Knowledge Economy and age of fast, global competition, Human Resources has evolved into a highly strategic and advisory role that enables businesses to tap into and maximize the potential of their most critical resource: their talents. Tools and technology can only go as far and produce products as unique as the human brains driving them.  Mega corporations tout innovation as the key to succeeding and differentiating themselves–and high levels of creativity and innovation can only be achieved when morale is high.

The days where Human Resources was merely the disciplinary body, payroll and leave processing clerks, resume sifter, and team-building organizers are long gone. Welcome to the world of endless gray areas, ever evolving business challenges requiring a lot more than just business and technical knowledge to solve; baffling behavioural issues; performance management and the challenge of ensuring that success indicators used are relevant to the company’s business; people, morale, leadership and culture development. This is, in other words, and at a time where personal and professional aspects of our lives are so closely intertwined, a world of boundless opportunities to manage change and make a difference in people’s lives.

A successful HR professional today is one with a keen business acumen, working knowledge of all core processes, and insights into why people do what they do and how all that pans out in the culture of the organization to affect the bottom line. He or she needs to have the capability to influence, initiate, drive, and affect change when (or even before) change is necessary.

It is often said that the greatest problems and assets are one: people — and for today’s Human Resources professional, success is when the work he or she does, brings out the best in the organization and its people. Because the profession has evolved from being mere executors into precious enablers and catalysts for success.

Impossible…Really?

I don’t remember exactly when I started to believe that dreams do, and can come true. I think when I was around 20 I thought that there would be more to life than just growing into adulthood, finishing school, getting a decent job, gaining financial independence, getting married, having children, slogging to put them through school, watching them grow up and repeat what I did, and in the end…grow old and die.

Then, in my final year in university, I became the editor for the Students’ Council Women’s Affairs Committee magazine. My friends and I somehow decided to interview our Media Studies lecturer, and that interview confirmed that what I had thought about life actually made sense. I guess when you were young and about to start out, it helped to discover that someone more experienced and successful shared the same beliefs. And what more, this was someone who at the age of 20 left her home country for Paris with just USD 7 in her pocket – so that she could pursue her dream of becoming a writer! Joanna is still writing now, with more books getting published. (You may check out her website here). I hope she knows how many young people she has inspired, and how many dreams are being realized because she set an amazing example.

So I guess that was one key encounter that fueled the idealism in me. And the romance, too. Dreams do come true. Indeed. But we must know what choices to make, and there will certainly be some things to give up along the way. So, armed with that belief, and DESPITE self-doubt and fears, I forged ahead and sought for the thing that would make my heart sing. It took me five years, and after some fine tuning, trials and errors, I found my path, and I have been walking it till today.

And I have discovered that the more things I try, the more hits and misses I experience, the bolder I become! There’s nothing personal in failures and rejections, they are just lessons and experiences to embrace! Like how I submitted a story on women’s rights and it did not get published, and how I took part in the Miss Malaysia/World beauty pageant one year and got so disappointed when I only made it to the Top 9. And then how I was cheered up when my agent called and told me they wanted to send me to Germany for another beauty contest – not as prestigious as Miss World but still an international pageant with 35 countries participating! And then…only to have my leave application rejected by my then employer, and realize that I wouldn’t give up my teaching job for that chance which some people told me was a ‘once in a lifetime’ thing.

And how I got a call for interview with the President of a renowned local institution, and then turned it down because I had, at that time, just resigned from another job to become a freelance copywriter, having decided that I would pursue what I really liked to do, instead of forcing myself to build a career the conventional way – no matter how glamorous the opportunity sounded.

So here I am today, doing the things that make my heart sing. I have just kick started another adventure …so I will be posting updates on that one. Can’t wait!

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