My husband, Craig, graduated from the University of Illinois with a masters in Human resources twenty years ago. This degree has served him well as he continues to solve HR issues both domestically and internationally for a big company. The remarkable thing is he still loves doing HR and has no desire to try something else. I think that is a rare quality.
Craig is on his way home today from a recruiting project at the same program where he graduated. I remember those days when we were first married and he was finishing his last semester of graduate school. Our future was uncertain but we were confident that he’d land a job with one of the companies that came to campus to recruit. At least we hoped so! It was a vulnerable and exciting time for us. He got a job with Pepsi-Cola and it moved us for the first of ten times in his career to Virginia.
Craig called me between interviews to tell me nothing has been updated at the facility in twenty years. It is as if he went back in time and was a student again. All the memories became crystal clear of how poor he was, how he ate popcorn and salad, ran certain trails and lived in a dump of an apartment with screaming neighbors. Then he told me that while he was washing his hands in the men’s room he remembered looking in that exact same mirror to adjust his tie for his interview. Now he is the interviewer. I’m not sure how many people have the opportunity to see the tables turn like that in their careers. In those early days we were thinking straight towards “what are we going to get”, and now two decades later it seems so much more important to “see what we can give back”. The feeling it leaves me is a happy peace.