Whether you are a HR Administrator, Generalist or Business Partner or one of the many other types of professionals working in human resources, don’t let yourself become complacent about your future. Start preparing now ahead of your next job move by getting organised and taking charge of your HR career. Steps to grow and future proof your career in HR:
Whatever your level, focus on upskilling.
The more you know, the more invaluable you are. Any employer worth its salt nowadays will offer an opportunity for employees to improve their skill base or attend study courses and training workshops. If they don’t, then take matters into your own hands, there are workshops and master classes, networking events and online forums aplenty. Make use of everything available and be sure to update your CV and online profile as you train up.
HR departments are quite often smaller functions so it can be very hard to move upwards if you stick around. As well as getting as much experience as you can from across the whole department, look for areas where opportunity can be created. Is there a particular HR person on the team with a massive workload that could do with some help? Is there an area of the business that is in desperate need of some HR expertise? Look for the opportunities, then put together a business case to take to your manager that clearly outlines the need you have spotted and the reason you are the best solution.
Consider specialising in a sector.
Tech firms are a good example of how specialising in a particular sector can boost your career. These firms like to see previous experience in the tech sector as working in the industry can be fast-paced, talent focused, and process-driven. If your experience clearly demonstrates that you have relevant sector experience, you are more likely to succeed. If you consider yourself to be experienced in a particular industry, then make sure it shows on your LinkedIn profile and clearly demonstrate it on your CV.
Know what HR skills are in demand and be the solution.
The biggest skill gap that I see at the moment is in Employee Relations. Keep your ears open and an eye on the job boards to spot trends like this in the HR field. If you are planning to make a move and can highlight your expertise in an area with a skill shortage or are in a position to gain the necessary knowledge before moving, you could take advantage of this trend and transition much easier into a new role.
Don't make early career decisions based purely on money.
Some roles may have higher salaries but do they have long term opportunities available to you too? Ask your recruiter what opportunities are really available with the employer they are working with. Be sure to do your own research into the company too. Try to find opportunities that offer a balance between benefiting your long term career prospects and benefiting your bank balance.