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Christopher Fields

Chris Fields has a Master’s in Labor and HR from Ohio State University. He is a former HR practitioner and current consultant. He writes HR content for several HR related companies, including SmartRecruiters, eSkills.com and Work4Labs. He also owns and operates CostofWork.com and the hugely successful ResumeCrusade.com. He is also an expert resume writer. He is passionate about his nieces, nephews, HR and music. You can find him on Twitter here and on Linkedin here. 

1. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?

My current role is a consultant, a business man, my own business man. You can’t learn that in an HR program. In fact, I’m willing to wager that most people could not tell what an hour of their time is worth. How much they would charge to complete a project? My grandmother was a business owner and she used to tell me that you work harder for yourself than you do for anyone else because you can’t fail, there is no one else to rely on and your name is on the line. My education helps me complete projects with confidence so I guess my Master’s degree is the answer but preparing to be a business person is a whole different skill. I recommend everyone try it. 

1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?

Just continuing to learn from others. I am not big on all that stuff because I spent a good amount of time and money getting degrees and taking test because someone else says it makes you relevant and gives you credibility. But that’s nonsense. LinkedIn has a Recruiter’s certification program now for $200, so are we to believe that all the millions of recruiters who have been doing it before LinkedIn was even around are less credible now?

Every certification program is some institute’s way of making money and giving you a badge to show the world that you know what you already know. I say seek knowledge and understanding for yourself. If you do it because you are supposed to or because that’s what “they” say you should do, then you probably will not see the value. I know many big time CHRO types without any certs – just degrees, experience and accomplishments.

2. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?

Improver, Builder and Thinker.

3. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?

Nope, one man HR shop.

4. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?

This does not really apply to me but I do have some local corporate clients that call on me for HR expertise especially in the area of Employee Relations. If I give them bad information they could get sued, which means I can get sued and no one wants that.

5. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?

Yes, I have a little home office and on occasion I work form Panera Bread. But I think the more interesting question is, is my job safe from being replaced. I think all jobs and positions have a shelf life. You should always be looking for better opportunities. I am always looking for more clients and bigger opportunities. I know that there are a lot of consultants out here and more coming so I stay focused on delivering good stuff and being a good person that people like. 

6. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?

Yes. I work but I don’t work in a traditional office space. People need to change the way they look at work in this age of technology. You can work from anywhere. You can work for anyone. HR is global. I live in Memphis and have HR consultancy clients in Romania. I encourage everyone reading this to rethink the rules of work, relevancy, success and what makes you happy. As long as I can pay my bills, provide for my family and feel good about what I do, I will continue on this path.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.