YourForce: Passion at Work

By Mike Prokopeak

Aug. 6, 2014

When it comes to professions of passion, HR isn’t near the top of most lists. Tango instructor? Definitely. Restaurateur? Probably. HR manager? Not so much.

That’s a shame because there’s no shortage of passionate people in HR. The ones I know aren’t party planners or pencil-pushers.  They’re at the forefront of business, charged with a job critical for the future of their organizations. As countless bosses have said, people are our most important asset. But only recently do many really mean it.

As with any career, HR comes with its fair share of drudgery, but beyond that, HR drives the organization forward and affects each and every one of us on a personal level. For many HR pros, their work is deeply meaningful and, as our reader comments this month attest, convictions run deep.

It may not be the tango, but the dance of HR is filled with passion.


Several readers sounded off on the June feature story “Working Until I Die”:

Reader Kathleen said:

“I disagree with the position that it is the people who failed to plan and not the investment banking industry, which has made it all but impossible to figure out how to save for retirement in a reasonably safe manner. There were many people who followed the path of wisely investing in 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts, etc., then the greedy banks scraped the cream off the top and let the rest go to hell in a handbag. Education is the starting point for Social Security. It wouldn’t hurt to support social agendas that are “kinder and gentler” to everyone, not the elite few who wield the power to trick and cajole us out of our hard-earned income!”

But reader Douglas noted:

“I respectfully disagree. I contend that the largest contributing factor for the lack of individual savings rests with the individuals. If people wanted to save for retirement and understood the importance, the complexity of investment plans would prompt many to have large savings accounts in banks. My opinion is that the reasons people don’t have adequate retirement savings are predominantly personal in nature.”

There were several comments posted to Max Mihelich’s blog, “The Irony of the Supreme Court’s ‘Hobby Lobby’ Decision”:

Reader Scott wrote:

“We are a country based on the Constitution, not religious convictions that for some reason people need to get from a book. The lack of compassion is ironic and infuriating considering most religious texts teach people to be compassionate. The Supreme Court has failed us this time.”

Reader Diane responded:

“Why should Hobby Lobby pay for abortion-inducing drugs because some women don’t have the common sense to use birth control (paid by Hobby Lobby) and end up pregnant? Hobby Lobby is not affecting their choice of religion or their right to have sex, get pregnant and kill their baby, they are just not going to pay for the killing part. Hobby Lobby, as a family owned corporation, has every right to follow their religious beliefs.”

Mike Prokopeak is Workforce’s editor in chief.

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