Written by Shena L. Holliday, SHRM-CP, Tulane MJ-LEL Student
When I was little, I wanted to be a writer. In elementary school, writing short stories was one of my favorite school activities. I wrote short stories as a hobby, and kept a journal through my twenties. I loved to write. When I entered my first college experience majoring in accounting, we took a trip to a newspaper company. I became quite intrigued at the thought of becoming an editor. The career path for an editor is usually starting as a reporter. What? The idea of writing for a living had resurfaced! Both accounting and editing ended up not working out. Life happens, and my twenties consisted of getting married, having three daughters, and working long shifts at the local hospital as a nursing assistant. Writing quickly became a far away hobby I didn’t have time for anymore.
Fast forward to 2017 and my new career as an HR Administrative Assistant. There’s nothing like a new profession to show you all the things you don’t know but need to learn, very quickly! From policy writing to all staff communications to HRIS access instructions, I had to quickly revive my love, interest, and decent writing skills to do my work. I am not an amazing writer by any means, but skilled enough to be considered a clear communicator of the written language. The pandemic increased my need for written communication, and I continue to be humbled by the amount of writing that I get to do in my HR role.
Fast forward to the summer of 2022, and I am entering one of my first classes, Introduction to Legal Analysis. One of our first final exam requirements was to write an e-memo. Sounds easy right? It is if you know how! And that’s what our first class taught us to do! I was writing again! Drafting the introduction, body, and closing, making sure all the legal elements were clear and concise was so much fun. And it just got better and better! Almost every single class required some level of writing. I was and continue to be pleasantly surprised and excited by the amount of writing required in this degree program.
HR professionals keep on creating additions to your non-fictional series. The employee handbook, personnel policies and procedures, performance review instructions, and all staff announcements are all part of your creations as a writer. And if you didn’t consider yourself a writer before, I hope you receive this title with pride and celebration! If you’re an HR professional, you are a writer!