From HR to Entrepreneurship: Honor the Journey

November 8, 2015


 Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Today's Post features our Guest Author: Janine Truitt, Owner / Chief Innovations Officer of Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a talent management consulting firm

As an HR Practitioner, it was important for me not to get bogged down in being a transactional entity. I was most happy when there was a healthy balance between managing the day-to-day and spending time creating the instances and initiatives that would improve work conditions for everyone involved. Whether it was developing an apprenticeship program for the differently-abled or creating individualized hiring agreements between HR and our internal partners to establish consistent practice and partnership between the two groups; my mindset was always about how we can work smarter, be more innovative and empower our workforce.

Almost three years ago as I sat in an auditorium listening to my lab director speak about the potential for my employer to be shut down due to a government shutdown; all I heard was “we’re in this together.”

My thoughts were as follows:

  1. We’re not in this together.

  2. How will I continue to make ends meet if this comes to fruition?

  3. I can’t live like this.

I knew what I needed to do, but for the first time ever, I was scared to death by the risk it involved. We avoided the shutdown. Still, I was uncomfortable with this year-to-year reality of riding a wave of uncertainty I had no control over. Instead, I opted to ride a wave of uncertainty within my sphere of influence. I started my own consulting business.  I traded one risk for another, but there are rewards for such an investment.

In 2013, I launched my business Talent Think Innovations, LLC after being gifted the money by family members and losing it during the course of experiencing financial hardship during the Hurricane Sandy debacle. I will spare you the details of that ordeal, so you can anticipate the full story in my tell-all book I will publish someday. I can tell you that from the time that I decided to start the business it has been a rollercoaster of experiences that has led me to fully transition and embrace being an entrepreneur. 

The same year I started my business, I debuted it at my first-ever SHRM National Conference. There was lots of kudos being sent my way for taking the leap, but also uncertainty about the purpose of my business. What I created was a business in response to all of the things I wished HR could accomplish, but didn’t. There isn’t a week where there isn’t an article discussing the need for HR to have “strategic impact”. I wanted my company to focus on helping businesses create people-centric strategy that allowed for smart and innovative work to drive results. Everything I created had to help my clients better attract the right people, develop them or retain them. Additionally, it seemed to me that your employees can only be as efficient as the tools available to them. As such, I added the service line that allowed me to consult organizations on their technology strategy to round out my solutions.

During this initial branding period, people either wanted me to be a headhunter or a full-suite HR outsourcing firm- none of which were the niches I envisioned for my business. It bothered me at first that people didn’t understand my vision- until I realized that the majority of people (84% in fact) have never come close to working in their dream job- let alone create it. The context for starting this business was important as well and not an easy pill to swallow. That context was: I was an underutilized, professional woman of color that was tired of being marginalized and made to “fit”.

I never fit in. I tried, but I never quite fit-in anywhere. It was through mentors and self-exploration that I realized that I was a founder, an innovator, and an activist for better work experiences.

All in all, I am thankful I didn’t choose to be linear. I am blessed to be strong enough to see my vision through scrutiny. Three years later, I am still here running my Talent Management Strategy firm and finding new ways to use the entirety of my experience to help both individuals and companies alike. If I had reacted to people’s elementary understanding of my purpose in life, I am certain I would have robbed myself and my business of immense promise and opportunity.

Janine Truitt Biography
Janine is the Owner/Chief Innovations Officer for Talent Think Innovations, LLC, a talent management consulting firm. Her career spans ten years in HR and Talent Acquisition that has taken her through the world of pharmaceuticals, healthcare, staffing and R&D.   

It is through the trials and tribulations of her career travels and her passion for Talent Management that she created Talent Think Innovations in January 2013. Her aim is to provide talent management solutions/strategies that are a catalyst for innovation and get businesses back to the basics of making talent their first priority. It is her belief that this one action- when done genuinely will make for a productive and happy workforce.

Connect with her on LinkedIn and Google+. Visit her blog “The Aristocracy of HR”. Follow her tweets on Twitter @CzarinaofHR.


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