In July of 2015 Sarah received a call from her Manager letting her know that she would not be returning from maternity leave–her position would not be there. She now had two small children, more than 6 months of maternity leave ahead of her and a husband who was wondering what was next for his wife and their family.
Many people would polish their resume and start looking for a new opportunity. With her background and skill set it would not take long to find an equivalent position, but Sarah has another plan. “I decided that it was time to strike out on my own and set up my own Human Resources Consulting company. I was looking forward to being able to work hours that better suited my family and give me the opportunity to spend more time with them. I was looking forward to not dealing with office politics aside from whose turn is it to take out the garbage.”
What Sarah hadn’t considered when she first struck out on her own was the disconnect from other professionals. Attending business networking events filled some of the gap, but the missing piece was talking to other HR professionals-specifically those in consulting who would be having the same issues as her.
“It can also be kind of lonely – there I said it. I never thought I would miss the corporate world but there are parts that I often long for again. Like bouncing ideas off others, getting advice, sharing tools, and sometimes the occasional venting session – we have all needed that occasionally.”
One day a friend (and budding HR consultant) reached out for some advice. Sarah shared some strategy and templates with her and since then they often reach out to one another for help. “I thought it would be great to expand this approach and create a group of HR Consultants who could do the same. Work together, collaborate, and share, all with the goal of delivering greater service to our clients and growing our businesses.” And so, the UptreeHR Network was born.
The group meet monthly online and discuss business challenges, successes, and wins while obtaining expert advice from those who have experienced the same. They share ideas, templates and policies. Sarah also has a one-to-one discussion with each member quarterly to provide mentoring and all members benefit from exposure on the networking website. UptreeHR Networking also provides webinars and professional development opportunities. Everything is offered online to make it cost-efficient and convenient for members from across the country to attend.
Feedback has been very positive, and I personally have benefited from Sarah and her group. After trying to do HR Consulting off the side of my desk for a few years I finally took the plunge and decided it was now or never and opened the doors to my full-time consulting business. UptreeHR Networking made it a comfortable transition from company office to home office. I have appreciated their help and advice. And as a group we collectively celebrated when I signed on my first client.
Human Resources Consulting is a growing field and as more people decide to take the plunge and go out on their own this networking group may be just the ticket to connect with other HR professionals from across the country without having to leave the comfort of their home office.
For additional information on UptreeHR Networking contact Sarah Mullins at UptreeHR.