Navigating Human Resources: Part 2

By: Tori (an HR major!)

“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.”

If you read my previous blog post, you are well aware that human resources is what brings business and people together. But how do you know if this is a good career for you?

Back in the day (just a mere two years ago), I came into the Career & Internship Services office to take the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, which helps determine what occupations may be best for you based off of your interests. Human Resource Management (HRM) was in my top ten and it was during this time I began taking the possibility of majoring in Human Resource Management seriously. Fast forward to a few months ago, when I took the StrengthsQuest assessment to figure out what qualities I naturally excel in and can use to market myself. This is when I began seeing HRM in who I was and who I wanted to be.


Below are my top 5 strengths and how they relate to Human Resources:

My top strength is woo. This comes from my love of meeting new people and winning them over. I enjoy breaking the ice and making a connection with other people. While this has always been something that came naturally to me, I didn’t realize how much woo plays into the role of recruiter. One of my career goals after graduation is to become a company recruiter through which I can connect with college students, win them over for my company, and help them reach their goals.

My second strength is positivity. Those with positivity tend to have an enthusiasm that is contagious; they are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. My other area of interest in HR is training and development. If I want to get people on board with spending days, weeks, or months learning new skills and making new goals, I need to have a positive attitude and make it a fun experience for everyone.

My third strength is empathy, meaning I can sense the feelings of other people by imagining myself in their situation. Empathy is an important strength to have if you are going to be working with a diverse group of people. Through empathy, I can connect, relate, and understand others’ situations as their manager. Being able to put myself in the starting place of another person and work with them toward the next step is a valuable tool to have.

My fourth strength is includer. Someone who is an includer shows awareness of those who may feel left out and makes an effort to include them and accept them. Part of human resources is solidifying culture within a company. What do employees want? What makes them feel valued? How can we accomplish our goals and still provide a friendly, encouraging work environment? My strength of includer helps me value and view company culture on a different level than most and provides opportunities for me as a human resource manager.

My fifth strength is developer. As a developer, I recognize and cultivate the potential in others, and as a manager, I lead and navigate a group of people. Putting others in positions that empower them and make the business run smoothly is part of not only a manager’s job but also human resources. This strength helps me lead others into roles and opportunities they desire.

Come into the office and learn your strengths! Like me, they may help you visualize your future career and find what areas you can excel in!

Read more about STRENGTHS

Read Tori’s other posts

Photo source: Unsplash | Adam Przewoski

I Just Have A Lot of Feelings (Life with Empathy)

By: Katie

In a previous post, I wrote about how I use the Deliberative strength from the StrengthsQuest assessment. For this post, I’ll focus on another strength in my top five: Empathy, my number one strength.

Those with the Empathy strength are able to sense how those around them are feeling and can take on those feelings as their own. They instinctively understand others, and can see things from their perspective. To clarify, empathy is different from sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for others – it is a more surface-level action. Empathy is a deeper sense of understanding the situation of another and feeling with them rather than for them.

Empathy can be very beneficial, but it also needs to be “controlled.” It is easy for empaths to become overwhelmed by the feelings of others, and if they don’t find a way to protect themselves, they can become incredibly drained. Here a few things I’ve learned about how to use your empathy rather than be controlled by it.

Learn to detach your life from the lives of others.
I’ll be the first to tell you this is ridiculously difficult. If someone I care about is struggling, that struggle will occupy my mind, too. But, you need to try to not feel guilty for allowing yourself to have your own feelings separate from another’s. It’s perfectly okay to compartmentalize and experience your own feelings and happiness even when those around you aren’t experiencing those same feelings. Think about it – if we all felt sadness at the sadness of others, our entire population would be down all the time. It’s not easy to release yourself from your empathic feelings, but it’s an important skill to learn.

Life with Empathy

Understand that not everyone has the same level of empathy as you.
Not everyone is empathic, and that’s okay. Feeling empathy is one of many ways a person can interact with those around them. As an empath, though, it can be difficult when you interact with others who don’t have the same empathic tendencies as you. Not everyone will be able to quickly and easily feel what you’re feeling and understand what you’re going through. For this reason, you need to be patient when you feel like others are being rude, inconsiderate, or insensitive toward you or someone else. That’s not necessarily the case – they probably just have a different set of strengths than you.

Find activities or a job that allow you to work with others.
While it’s important to learn how to flip your empathy switch off, it is also important to find opportunities where you can have it on and let it shine. Being an empath allows you to relate to others and work with them on a deeper or more meaningful level. Being able to pick up on a person’s feelings helps you adjust how you work with them to make the interaction more effective. Find a job or another space where you are allowed to do this, because the result can be incredibly rewarding.

Work in a place that has the energy you need.
Empaths can easily feed off of the energy of others, so it’s important to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with the energy you need. For me, that means a positive, optimistic environment. I’ve worked in both positive and negative environments, and in both situations I have adopted the positivity or negativity that surrounds me. Living with constant negativity wears me down, while living with positivity helps me do my job to the best of my ability. Find a workplace where the energy matches your own and allows you to do your best work and enjoy it along the way. Happy surroundings make for a happy empath!

Of Possible Interest: 

Read Katie’s other posts
Photo source: Unsplash|Rodin Kutsaev

Empathy: Take a Walk in Their Shoes

By: Justine [Harmony|Communication|Futuristic|Empathy|Achiever]

Definition of the empathy strength: “To sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.” I have taken the CliftonStrengths for Students twice and both times empathy was one of my top strengths. Empathy to me means I am able to understand the feelings and motives of those who I come into contact with in my daily life.

List of strengths; empathy in gree

Understanding what others are feeling helps me to create a functioning work environment with all my other coworkers. To be able to empathize sometimes requires that you go through a similar experience or situation as someone else and you can recall your feelings during that time period. Another way to empathize is to just take the time to consider the perspectives of others. For example, in the workforce, to empathize with someone’s passions can be exciting because you can feel their energy about a new project or ambition and keep them motivated. In contrast, in times where a coworker has problems in their lives, a person can empathize to comfort and strategize with them to overcome obstacles.

As a future physical therapist and someone who works with clients, empathy can be difficult to balance as a strength. On one hand, being too empathetic can lead to no progress in their rehabilitation. We all have those moments where we aren’t particularly motivated to complete an action, however, when that action is paired with pain in movement it can be difficult to not over-empathize. Through my own personal physical rehabilitation, I’m able to understand the difficulties in working towards gaining mobility and strength back along with the frustrations that come along with not being able to do simple activities. When I train clients who have had injuries, I work with them through their pain with the best exercises to strengthen them and give them goals to aim for. In this way, their pain has a purpose; it’s a step towards better health. To give into over-empathizing would be to encourage a client or patient to remain motionless and avoid pain altogether, however, in the long run, that would only do them more harm than good.

Here are some career action items from the CliftonStrengths for Students book that might apply to you:

  • Interview people who are currently in jobs that interest you. Talk to them about how they feel in those roles.
  • Environments that provide regular social interaction and an opportunity to collaborate with others will allow your Empathy talents to flourish.
  • Seek work environments in which emotions are valued and not repressed. The rich emotional economy will be the perfect environment for your Empathy talents.
  • The “emotional tone” of your work environment is important. You might find that surrounding yourself with others who are positive and upbeat is highly rewarding.

Not everyone will work with patients or customers on a first-hand basis, but all of us can take some time to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. If you run across someone who is less than friendly to you, there is most likely a reason for their attitude, although it might be hidden to you. Empathy is thinking about others’ life circumstances and thinking about how you would handle them. Empathy can take a lot of self-control and can be very frustrating when you aren’t able to see eye-to-eye with that other person but with patience and time, it’s worth it to use a little empathy. Who knows, you just might learn a new perspective.

Read about the 33 other Strengths

Read Justine’s other posts