People & Leadership

Pay-it-forward: The best advice HR pro Suzanne Lucas received on finding her voice

Editor’s Note: Whether you’re CEO of a Fortune 500 company or just starting out as a small business owner, chances are you have benefited from someone else’s sage advice to help get where you are today. This is the second post in a new series where business leaders “pay it forward” and share the best advice they’ve ever received.

Suzanne Lucas, AKA “The Evil HR Lady,” is a prominent writer in the human resources industry—but when she started her career, she never expected to call herself a writer.

After working for more than a decade in corporate HR, she began blogging about her experiences to share her expertise, work through challenges, and provide guidance to employers and employees alike.

“When I first started blogging, I didn’t think I had a chance of making a real career out of it because my writing was so different from other business writers,” she says.

When prominent editor Susan Heathfield from About Human Resources (now called The Balance), reached out to tell her how much she liked her voice, Lucas was surprised. She said, “Keep writing. Your unique voice will resonate with the right audience.”

“I thought that was odd. My voice?” she says, “I thought I was just a weird writer, but Heathfield insisted that not only could I write, but that it was critical that I kept my unique voice.”

Keep writing. Your unique voice will resonate with the right audience.

Thanks to Heathfield’s advice, Lucas kept blogging, eventually leaving HR full-time and establishing a career as a freelance writer. Today, she blogs at Evil HR Lady and regularly contributes to top-tier publications including Inc., Business Insider, US News and World Report, and more—reaching more than 200,000 readers a month.

“It makes me happy to write this way, and it gives me a unique audience that I wouldn’t get by writing in another style,” she says. “I wouldn’t have had the guts to take my writing to the next level without Susan’s confidence boost and good advice.”