Gift 1: The ability to not give AF

If I could bottle something up and give it to every HR/People person it would be the ability to not give AF.  You could spray it on yourself like perfume in moments where you feel yourself caring toooooo much. So for me, anywhere from 1 – 50 times a day? 

Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about! We’ve all been there. Where something TINY is working you up and you’re wondering why everyone else doesn’t care about things the way you do. 

The HR/People job is intentional in ways people don’t realize. Right down to the second when things are done. The little things no one thinks about, we do

But, sometimes it becomes too much. The HR industry has one of the highest job turnover rates and it’s probably because this job can be exhausting. 

It feels like every problem a company faces is HR’s responsibility to fix but we’re given very few resources to fix said problem and many of us suffer from caring too much. 

The solution? Stop caring! Just kidding! This job relies on our care and thoughtfulness. 

Stop caring about the little things – care about the things that matter. 

What matters differs from company to company but something I’ve found works well to assess if something matters or not is asking the following questions:

  1. Is this something within my control? 
  2. Does this matter today/this week or in the future?
  3. Will this deter a major goal?
  4. Will this have ramifications on employees and the company? 

If I find myself saying no to the majority of these questions I try to let it go and stop giving AF. It didn’t happen overnight and it took some work but wow it can be freeing!

Want to start caring less about the things that don’t matter?

Add this book to your reading list: The subtle art of not giving a f**k. 

Or you can gift it to your favorite HR/People person. 

Gift 2: Headphone to drown out the noise & escape

I wish the mute button worked in real life scenarios. But since it doesn’t, headphones it is. 

There is a reason my playlist is called “Screaming into the void” because sometimes this job makes me want to scream. Yeah, I love what I do but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating. 

If you haven’t noticed yet, I love music. Right down to who produces certain favorite songs. I would be lost with a good pair of headphones. I’ve put together a list for you of headphone recs. 

For the audiophile: everyone talks about the Sennheiser HD 800 S but damn that is out of my price range for headphones. My personal favorite? Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. I can hear the vocals so clearly with this pair. The downside is they are wired and have been conditioned to believe wireless is where it’s at. 


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Best on a budget: Sony WH-CH510 coming in at less than 40 dollars these are bluetooth, over the ear headphones that are pretty great! You don’t need to splurge to get good headphones. 

For drowning out the sound: Anker Soundcore Space Q45. This pair will detect outside sound and adjust the noise canceling. It’s more affordable than it’s bose counterparts and just as comfortable. 

For the aesthetics: Airpod Max. If you’re an Apple stan you’ll want these for sure. They come in fun colors and cuter than most over the ear headphones. Warning that these are uncomfortable with long term wear. 

Best over the ear: Bose Quietcomfort45. Unlike the Airpod Maxs you could wear these for hours and still be comfortable. I had an older model that I adored. I never got sick of wearing them! BTW they’re 100 dollars off at Amazon right now! 

Best in-the ear: I once heard that in-ear headphones make your sinus pressure worse and I’ve never let go of that stat. I truly prefer over the ear but I’ll make an exception for Anker Soundcore Space A40 Truly Wireless! These headphones have the same adaptive noise canceling technology mentioned above. 

Next time you’re in a particularly frustrating situation, schedule a break, grab a pair of headphones and put on this playlist

Gift 3: Founders & leaders that actually get it 

We’ve all been in a meeting or conversation with that founder or leader and thinking, wtf don’t they understand the importance of insert any/all people related initiatives. 

You’re not alone. 

In an ideal world we’d all work with leadership teams who understand the importance of the work we do. 

But that’s not reality.

Why don’t some founders or leaders get it? Because the HR/People job isn’t as intuitive as people like to think it is. And we’ve been typecast as the party planning committee, but we’re so much more than that. 

Our job is rooted in the intangible like how our employees feel therefore it’s sometimes harder for founders and leaders to understand. 

But if you’re not lucky enough to get a founder or leadership teams that appreciates the importance of the HR/People team’s work it isn’t a complete lost cause! 

What to do with a founder/leader who doesn’t get it:

  1. Explain the business value
  2. Explain the cultural value
  3. Explain what it takes to achieve something

And, if they don’t? See gift 1 

Gift 4: Happiness & well-being

Are you happy? 

I know there are days where I have to ask myself that question to check in on myself. 

While I wish I could gift happiness to every person, that’s not the case. But I’ve found something that could help! 

The Science of Well-being is a FREE course to help you learn how to be happy. It starts today and the goal of the course is to teach you ways to increase happiness and productivity. 

4M people have already signed up – including me! 

Join me and let’s be happier in 2023. 

Gift 5: an ergonomic set up

I know it’s been a loooong week when I can feel that spot between my shoulder blades. 

It means one thing: I’ve been slumped over my keyboard completely neglecting my posture. 

A good setup can be life changing! I mean we’ve all heard the stat that sitting is the new smoking and can take years off your life. 

What you can do: set up your workstation correctly! 

I know not everyone has hundreds to spend or a generous work from home stipend to get the ideal set up. 

I used a stack of books and my kitchen counter to make my first standing desk! There are lots of creative ways out there to change your workstation without dropping stacks. 

Here are 10 tips to immediately improve your workstation.

Hebba Youssef
Hebba Youssef

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