One Piece of Career Advice for Human Resources Professionals

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Someone asked to interview me recently and one of the questions they wanted me to answer was about career advice for human resources professionals. They never got around to asking me the question, which was really a shame because I thought I had a good response. ha.ha. So, I decided to share it with you here.

If I could offer one piece of career advice to human resources pros, it’s this – don’t be afraid to accept assignments outside of HR. Over the years, I’ve worked on many terrific HR projects and gained valuable insights. But I’ve also been fortunate to work on operations projects that gave me experience in the business. These operational projects helped to shape my HR point of view and build relationships around the organization and my profession. 

Some of the projects I’ve worked on included:

  • Opening a facility. I’ve also assisted in closing a facility as well. While some of the tasks you have to do are similar, they can be very different where employees are concerned.
  • Problem-solving operational challenges, including identifying casual relationships and recommending a solution. Want to know what keeps your managers up at night? Work with them on an operational problem
  • Being a member of an emergency response team. This included understanding organizational risk, developing a communications plan, and implementing the plan. 
  • Managing payroll and security. Sometimes these functions are a part of HR and sometimes not. Regardless, HR works closely with these areas because they involve employees. It can also offer some insights about customers which rarely happens with HR. 
  • Assuming a “manager-in-charge” role when executives were away from the office. Someone must be in charge when the leadership team is out of the office. Even if it’s for a day, this can be a very eye-opening activity.

So don’t shy away from non-HR activities when you have the chance. It’s a great way to learn the operation and build relationships with the management team. Taking on these assignments doesn’t mean you’re not committed to your profession. In fact, it shows the opposite. How many times have we heard how human resources professionals need to know the language of business? Too many. These types of operational projects can be just the chance you’ve been looking for. 

If you want a few other career development activities, here are some additional suggestions.

How to Get Your First Job in Human Resources

Bookmark This! Books on Recruitment and HR Topics

Choosing the Best HR Certification

How to Maintain Your Professional Certification

One last thing. Deb Cohen wrote a book called “Developing Management Proficiency: A Self-Directed Learning Approach”. I like Deb’s work because it introduces the idea of a “career portfolio”. You know how designers keep a portfolio of their work? Well, think of this as the same thing for non-designers. We can create our own career portfolios and regularly review them to make sure we’re staying focused on our goals. I think it could also serve to make sure we stay on track. 

Managing our career can be challenging. There are times when we could be pulled in multiple directions.  And that’s not always a bad thing. Developing a plan and regularly revisiting that plan could be exactly what we need to stay engaged and accomplish our career goals.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the streets of Las Vegas, NV

The post One Piece of Career Advice for Human Resources Professionals appeared first on hr bartender.

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