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  • Writer's pictureKhurram Rana

George Clooney and HR ?

One of the top challenges for HR Professionals today is adapting to the rapid techn

ological changes. Advancements in technology have impacted the workplace in significant ways. We must stay up-to-date with the latest technological tools and platforms to optimize HR operations and enhance the employee experience. A few years back when the Covid-19 Pandemic forced many companies to adopt the remote work style we all had to adapt. Currently we see AI’s inclusion in almost every aspect of HRM, the changing market dynamics making attraction and retention of top talent even more challenging and so on.

Along the same thought, one of my all-time favorite movies is "Up in the Air" which is a 2009 American drama film directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick. The movie is an adaptation of the 2001 novel of the same name by Walter Kirn.

The film follows Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a corporate downsizing expert who spends most of his time traveling across the country to fire people on behalf of their employers. Ryan is content with his solitary lifestyle, preferring to keep his distance from personal relationships and material possessions. However, his job is threatened when his boss proposes a new strategy that involves firing people via video conferencing, which would keep Ryan grounded in one location. [Scary to him]

Ryan takes on a young colleague, Natalie, to maintain his lifestyle. They travel together and meet Alex, who shares Ryan's love of frequent flying and casual relationships. Ryan's detachment from others leads to self-reflection and difficult decisions.

The plot twist forces him to reassess his priorities and confront the emptiness of his existence.

The movie highlights the importance of human connections and relationships, both in our personal lives and in the workplace.

For me the movie had 2 take aways:


As HR professionals, it's important to remember that employees are not just numbers or statistics, but real people with families, aspirations, and emotions.

When making tough decisions that affect people's lives, we must always remember to treat them with empathy and respect.


The impact of technology on our lives and the need for adaptability in the face of change. As HR professionals, we must stay abreast of technological developments and be prepared to adapt our strategies and approaches to fit changing circumstances.

Whenever you get a moment to relax, do watch the movie or read the book. The book varies slightly and I would love to hear your feedback on the variations between the book and the adapted movie.

Stay well.


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Khurram Rana