The professional advantage of playing musical chairs

I've had a busy few months at work. The desk is unkempt and dusty, under various piles of paper... I am hoping to get some quiet time next week to clean it. I have to! There is a new person starting in the new year who will take my desk, and I will move to a vacant one on the other side of the floor.

Which brings me to my topic -- the advantage of playing musical chairs at the office!

My role is unique in that I work for the whole department. Every HR leader and every team works with me at one time or another; I get involved whenever they are designing changes to their programs or approaches and whenever they are rolling those changes out to the organization. Depending on the impact, I get more or less involved. At any one time, I am working with two or three teams on those kinds of changes, while also supporting the whole department when I wear my corporate planning and reporting hat (another part of my role).

I can sit anywhere! And I am glad to do it. I think more people should look for the chance to move around.

  • For about a year, I've been sitting with the HR Business Partners, who support leaders across the organization; this has given me tremendous insight into what leaders are dealing with, and what HR can do to better equip them to lead their teams. 
  • Before that, it was the Wellness and Employee Relations team—where I learned a tonne about how our organization supports people going through various challenges, and where I was blown away by the professionalism of the team.
  • Before settling in with Wellness, I sat with the HR Centre, where I got to see what kinds of questions are coming in from employees on a day-to-day basis. That gave me all kinds of ideas about how we could improve our online content.
  • And before that, I was sitting at some HR desks on an IT floor, with consultants working on modernizing HR systems; as change lead for that program, being in the thick of it was essential.
That's four moves since we moved back to our head office about three years ago, after an extensive renovation. Some people seem to think this is a hardship, but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's so refreshing to pull up office roots, find the excuse to purge, and learn something about a new team.  Maybe it's years of having been a consultant that conditioned me to not become too attached to any one desk. 

So, in January, I will head back to an empty desk in the HR Centre. For now. There are still a couple groups I haven't sat with, and I would welcome an opportunity to do so. I think everyone should get the chance! 


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