How She Does It | Suzanne Lucas

In our second monthly journey to demystifying Parenthood one story at a time, we are privileged to find ourselves in the company of…an Evil HR Lady!

I know Suzanne Lucas because I read her (awesome) stuff all the time. She writes (and speaks) about how to make your business truly employee focused, and how to avoid the pitfalls so many other businesses face. Her insightful work has appeared at Inc.com, CBS News, the New York Times, Cornerstone’s Rework, Business Insider, and many (many) other places.

She helps individuals have great careers, be better managers and explain why (in the heck) your HR department is asking that you declare your race (!) on that application form. But she also gets to help businesses not big enough to have HR. Plus, she’s an advocate of hard work over talent: you can grow to become anything you want in life, if you consistently put in the required effort. The talk she gave about it in TEDxBasel last year, was that last push I needed before I started working my way into the HR territory.

Not much evil in all that if you ask me but, hey, who am I to judge!

Suzanne Lucas, Freelance Writer & Speaker. Founder of the Evil HR Lady

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a freelance writer and speaker, specializing in business and HR. I switched to this from corporate HR when my husband got a job in Switzerland and I quit to follow him. 10 years later, we still live here!

I have two kids (10 and 15), who I adore and my flexible schedule is extremely helpful in raising them. I’m very active in my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where I teach a daily religion class for teens at 6:00 am, via Skype – in German. They suffer to put up with my bad accent.

Stemming from your personal experience, what is the toughest part of being a Mom, and how do you manage it?

You can’t control what happens–the good and the bad. Not everyone is on your side. Some teachers are awful people and awful teachers. Some are fabulous. But, you don’t get to choose which one your child is assigned to.

Who is (are) your go-to person(s) when you need support as a Mother? What type of support are you mostly in need of?

I’m blessed with 3 amazing sisters and many amazing friends. Generally, I need someone to bounce ideas off and to get ideas for handling new problems. It’s really great to have a  group of friend with a wide variety of experiences.

What’s the No1 Skill (or Ability, or Knowledge) you have found handy in your role as a Mom?

I put my HR documenting skills to the test with Motherhood. I’ve written countless emails documenting things I’ve said to teachers or things I want them to do. I don’t trust any of those verbal communication things! “Dear Teacher, thanks so much for talking to me today about Offspring 2. As we discussed you will….and I will….” Works like a charm.

What advice do you have for a new Mom?

Don’t make decisions about what motherhood will look like for you until after the baby gets here. Don’t quit your job because you want to be a stay at home mom. You may find it dreadfully dull. You may love it. But, you really won’t know until that baby is here.

Also, don’t judge other moms for what they are doing. As soon as you say, “well, my child will never!!!” your child takes notes (even if said child is still in the womb) and you can guarantee your child will do that, but in a much worse fashion. Just assume everyone is doing the absolute best they can.

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