At a recent family get-together someone asked me how my new job was going. I said it was going really well.
I was asked whether I had more responsibility, more influence, more scope (blech)...what was it that made it better.
Truthfully, HR is HR.
The fundamentals of what an organization needs from its HR group/ person are essentially the same. The fundamentals of what an organization will try to get their HR group/person to do are also about the same. It's really how well an organization recognizes what you are doing and accepts your push back when you don't do something that makes all the difference.
And where I am, they get it.
Sure I'm doing stupid administrative tasks that doesn't really add value to my day. But guess what? So is every other person here. That's the world today, baby. Print your own reports, do your own copies, and while you're at it, get yourself your own damn coffee (dark with two creams, no sugar).
A real difference is in the fact that when I'm not processing new hire paperwork, I'm researching, I'm developing, and I'm proposing ideas that people are listening to. They are not just nodding either, they are challenging me, forcing me to dig deeper, and then stepping out of the way to let me do it.
But the big thing for me is that when I say, "yeah, I don't see that happening", there is a discussion about it. I can push back and say that I don't see that as HR's role (but I'll help), or that's not really a good direction for us to be heading (and provide sound rationale why). And most of the time it works.
So, while HR is HR, not matter where you are...how it's actually going to play out is always a variable.
And that variable is there difference between me being okay with my job and me actually liking my job.