TMC Speaker Interview Featuring Laurie Ruettimann

Triangle Marketing Club is kicking off another year with more talented speakers, creative projects and developments, interesting discussion, and of course – lots of networking!

There is so much to look forward to in 2018, and it all starts with our first meetup of the year on Tuesday, January 30th. Laurie Ruettimann, an influential speaker, entrepreneur, and author will share with us some of her human resources knowledge she acquired throughout her successful career.

Need help finding and retaining true talent?

Laurie will provide the crowd with insight and solutions to tackling employee turnover and building a strong team from the start.

The Interview

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

“I am a former human resources professional turned writer, speaker and entrepreneur. I started working in human resources right after college. I recruited, handled employer relations issues, HR strategy, mergers and acquisitions. Then, towards the end of my career during the recession, all I did was lay off people all over the world. I was perfectly built for it because I’m five feet tall and I look nice. So I would come into sites and I looked like I was there to tell people I love them and want to hang out but instead I was there to let them go. That really broke my heart.”

 “I decided for a lot of reasons that working in human resources was not for me, but I loved the world of labor, recruiting and employment. So, I set out to write about it. I wanted to help people feel better and more fulfilled at work as much as that’s possible.”

“I also had a startup for a little while that focused on project management and writing better project plans. It was really all about figuring things out before they escalate. It was built around the psychological concept of a pre-mortem, which means trying to figure out how things are going to fail before they fail.”

I see that you have a literature degree but started your career as an HR professional. What drew you to work in HR?

“I had student loans. Back then it was go to law school or be a teacher, and I didn’t want to do either one. So, I went to my student services department and asked, ‘What am I going to do with this degree?!’. They put me in an internship in a human resources department at a candy company. Learning about the world of business and human resources really opened me up to all kinds of things. Not only did I learn HR, but also marketing and sales techniques. So yeah, I was drawn because I had no options and then it just kind of stuck.”

Besides working in HR, you are an established writer and speaker. What was your inspiration for creating Punk Rock HR and The Cynical Girl?

“I was working at a company called Pfizer, which was my last real job in HR. There was this thing that started to emerge in 2004 called blogging. I thought I could have a blog so I started using Blogspot, which was really old school. I was writing for my friends and family about three things: how much I hated my job, how much I traveled, and my cat.” 

“By mid 2007 I had a million readers a month. It was crazy! One day I showed up to work in a pair of Doc Martens and my boss said to me, ‘What are you, punk rock HR?’. The name really stuck in my head, so when I had to name my blog I told my friend that story. He said that if I didn’t buy that he would buy it and sell it back to me for $1,000.”

“So I quit my job and started Punk Rock HR publicly with its own domain. I started using Facebook and Twitter and people were really curious about my blogging, so I started teaching them about it. That led to speaking about social media, personal branding, and also some HR.”

Since we’re talking punk rock, what’s your favorite band?

“I’m a little too young for the original punk rock bands, but I always liked that kind of music when I was a kid. When I was in high school, I was into 90’s industrial music so I listened to Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb, and Front 242. I like everything though and I’ve always had a pretty eclectic musical taste. My parents were hippies so I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Pink Floyd.”

Could you briefly discuss your companies GlitchPath and LFR LLC?

“GlitchPatch is my startup. LFR LLC is my little holding company where I can do consulting, speaking and writing. I do marketing consulting for technology companies, specifically on content and product marketing strategy.”

Lastly, what is one key takeaway you hope the TMC audience leaves with after hearing your presentation in January?
“Recruiting and hiring someone isn’t the end. Just because you hire a great person, that doesn’t mean you’re done.”

“You have to engage in ongoing conversations, feedback, and coaching. More importantly, you need to have a relationship with your employee throughout their entire employment lifecycle. Especially if you’re a company with fewer than 50 employees, you don’t just get to hire somebody and send them off on their own. You actually have to be interested in them as a human being, and that relationship building can be exhausting. We often go to work because we’re sick of relationship building in our personal lives, but you have to do that with your employees.”

It was so great to learn more about Laurie Ruettimann and her career during this interview! TMC is really looking forward to her presentation on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at Savo KnowledgeTree. Don’t forget to RSVP on Meetup so we can prepare a name badge for you and order enough beer and appetizers. Can’t wait to connect!