I've heard it so many times that I believed it. At some point I accepted that people look at HR as some kind of a malevolent entity (just like Catbert). Employees suspect HR of being too pro-management. Managers suspect HR of being too pro-employees. I have resigned to the thought that people will have a hard time seeing that as an HR person, I am pro-the-right-thing-to-do-given-a-situation. I thought people have unrealistic expectations of HR and that no matter how I try, I will never measure up to that unrealistic expectation. Is frustration a natural part of the career I have chosen?
But as I grow older, I started learning or to put it more accurately, unlearning the mindsets I have developed over the years listening to fellow HR practitioners and proving them right. I saw what I was conditioned to see. HR was a thankless job, because that's what a lot of people around me say about it and I believed them. When I started questioning my own beliefs about this job, I realized that no, HR is not a thankless job, as a matter of fact, I could not count the times people appreciated what I did as an HR practitioner.
I could not count the number of people who thanked me for facilitating their employment.
I could not count the number of times a fellow manager thanked me for helping him/her find the right person for the job.
I could not count the number of times managers thanked me for helping them deal with a situation concerning their employees.
I could not count the number of times an employee thanked me for clarifying an issue or for helping them with what they need.
I could not count the number of times people thanked me for listening to them.
I could not count the number of times a training participant thanked me for sharing a part of myself.
I could not count the times I received thanks for helping an entire organization.
This job is not thankless. And knowing the kind of person that I am, I am still in this business because of the countless number of thanks I get for doing my job.
When I changed my belief, the frustrations went away and I was more energized to do my job. The more energized I am to do my job, the better I get at it and the more the rewards came my way. If you ask me though, I'd say that for me, the job is its own reward. I am thankful that I get to do what I do every chance I get.
Lastly, Any job can be a thankless job for as long as people don't see the reason why they should thank the one carrying out the job. At least, that's what I think.