The HR Juggler

Back to School

Posted on: July 15, 2011

Later this afternoon, I will be going in to my 5  year old daughter’s class at school and talking to them about my job. Eeeek! I did, of course, volunteer for this a few weeks ago, as a result of a letter that was sent home requesting parents talks, however now that the time has come, I feel more than a little nervous. Tweeting about this earlier prompted a fantastic response and Michael Carty has set up a theme on his blog about how you would describe HR to a class of schoolchildren.

So I am now as prepared as I am going to be and have decided to use lots of pictures to try and give a really short and simple overview of what my job and HR is about. 

Leaving aside the pictures of my journey (a train, tube and picture of my office no less!), the rest of my talk will run along the following lines –

  • My job has a very strange name – HR or Human Resources. What it really means though is that my job is all about people.
  • It’s my job to make sure that everyone gets paid their money for working. It’s very important as all of the grown-ups who work for us need money to pay for their house and food and look after their families. 
  • It’s also my job to make sure we find people to work for us  and that we put them in the right jobs.  Everyone is good at different things, so it’s really important to make sure that someone’s job helps them to use all the things that they are best at doing.

  • We want people to feel happy at work, so we do all we can to make it a nice place to be. Sometimes, if people feel sad then they come and talk to me and I try and find a solution to their problems.
  • Sometimes even grown-ups do naughty things and it is often my job to tell them off. Usually I just have to explain why what they have done is not right, but sometimes if they have been really naughty they won’t be able to work with us any more.
  • Just like your teaches teaches you new things every day, people at work learn new things too and HR helps them to learn new skills.

  • Part of my job is also to answer lots of questions.  I’m quite good at doing that, so if you have any questions you’d like to ask me, please let me know.
So…..I will come back later to update you on whether there were any questions and if I managed to hold their attention for 10 minutes!!
How would you describe your job to a classroom full of 5 year olds and what have I missed about HR?


20 Responses to "Back to School"

I hope you are having a lot of fun! Having given a science class to 7 year olds and run a bring your kids to work day this year I’m conscious that kids know and observe a lot more then we sometimes give them credit for. I love your point that everyone is good at different things 🙂

What I learned from kids is they they think success for them and their friends, and learning new things and breaking computers and getting paid and having lunch are all good things about work. I’m inclined to agree.

Cheers – Doug

Love how you articulate what kids like the sound of about work…so easy to forget at times! Thank you x

Better than most induction packs I have experienced 🙂

This is brilliant. Last year when I was doing a lot of work around B&H I told my 4yo that my job was to help people learn how to be nice to each other and when they weren’t, I told them off.

But your version is so much better as it covers it all.

Hope it went well.

Do you mind if I steal this for a presentation to a board meeting?

Lol, you would, of course, be most welcome…I can provide the slides too if you like ;). Would love to be a fly on the wall!

Love it! It’s brilliant. This should be more wisely available.

I love this blog. As with many of your blogs, you talk so much sense. I used this to explain to DD the general elements of my job. Recently when I asked her what I did for a living she said I worked for a charity and that I spent most of my time sending emails and talking on the telephone!

I once helped an organisation gain clarity on their purpose and message, during that process a wise friend said to me ‘ask your 5 yr old if he gets it, you’ve got it’! It worked! 🙂

Thanks so much for all of your lovely comments. I love the fact that it has struck a chord with lots of people, HR or otherwise, and that a few other small people have been getting lessons about what it means to work in HR!

It was great to do it and can’t believe I learned so much through the process…might well be my next blog post 😉


What a wonderful way to describe HR in its essence! I hope that the talk went well. I’m sure that the children had wonderful questions.

One thing I might add …

… Sometimes people argue with each other. HR tries to help them “make up” and work together better.

All the best,

Michael Brisciana

Good point! Thank you for adding that and for stopping by to comment

Good point! Thank you for adding that and for stopping by to comment

[…] About Back to School […]

Hi! This is just terrific. Thank you for posting. I’m doing career day at my daughter’s kindergarten next week and was looking for exactly this. I’m thinking of also bringing in a book for kids on how to think about choosing a career. I’m hoping the library has something good. Would you still have the presentation available? This is a great community!

I’m preparing to do the same thing at Take Your Child To Work Day next week! I, too, work in HR. This is fantastic! I know you posted this forever ago, but if you still have the materials to share, I would be so grateful 🙂 Nonetheless, thank you for the tips!!

same here! Going next week, i LOVE what you have. anything additional would be fantastic!

Your article was a great help in my son’s career day at school….I have made a presentation taking hints from your description.. I hope it goes well…

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