David Dellman, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

From the time I was 14, I wanted to be a pastor or priest.

I love to preach, and that was part of it, but I also loved the idea of investing my life in the lives of others.

The parish priest is the one you call when you are sick or troubled, getting married, or when someone you love passes away.

The priest is there for you in good times and in bad.

In short, the parish priest or the local pastor is invested in the lives or his or her parish.

I went to seminary and graduated with an M.Div.

I thought the degree would be enough to secure a position, but it was not.

Consequently, I needed to find work and, eventually, a new career.

I choose human resources.

HR seemed to be the closest I could come to pastoral ministry in a secular work environment. After serving as an HR Director for 26 years, I was right; there are many similarities between HR and pastoral ministry.

I might not have been the spiritual leader that a priest is, but I was there for my employees the way priests are there for their congregants.

I counseled my employees, I inspired them, and I nurtured the best in them.

I invested in the lives of the employees of my company, and that investment was richly rewarding. 

The best memories I have of HR are the problems I solved; the victories won; the lives made better because I cared.

Some say you must be called to the priesthood.

It would be best if you were “called” or have a sense of destiny for any profession.

I can’t think of a higher calling than HR because we, as HR professionals, are in a unique position to invest in and make better our employees’ lives.

Much love,

David Dellman