A long time ago I was asked in an interview if I liked people. Puzzled by the question I responded that yes of course I liked people. The interviewer (lets call him Sam) told me “If you like people don’t get into HR.” Based on my interactions with Sam I think he developed that attitude because he rarely interacted in a positive way with employees. I rarely saw him leave his office and definitely never saw him at the Christmas party or the chili cook off.
This interaction has stuck with me for years because I have heard similar variations on it throughout my career (not often but enough that it’s stuck with me). I think that advice came from someone who was suffering some serious burnout and who had been in their position far too long. Every person who has verbalized a similar thought was like like Sam: they never made an effort to see employees beyond a problem or issue to resolve. And like Sam, the never made an effort to talk with employees.
We all know how difficult it can be to deal with employees and managers but if you see employees as a nuisance, you need to get out of HR. We all have to deal with the jerk employees and yes, that can definitely sour your attitude at times. But if this becomes a persistent thought process…why are you in this job? and what are you doing in HR?!