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How do people advance in the human resource field?


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Dawn’s Answer

Be open to continual learning. Be open to trying new areas of responsibility even if it takes you outside of your comfort zone. Network, obtain a mentor and volunteer for projects. When they see you as a subject matter expert and willing to raise your hand for things, you can get noticed!


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Kristen’s Answer

I went into Human Resources after graduating college with an English degree. The field appealed to me because it has so many areas to excel in -- recruiting, compensation (if you're more technical and analytical), writing job descriptions, managing benefit programs, HR IT, or talent development/training. I took an entry-level internship learning union relations and started a master's program in HR. If you don't want to go back to school, there are excellent online certification courses through The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or HCRI (a little cheaper). You can gain the skills that way and be more marketable.
Since HR jobs are available in nearly every organization, it would be good to pick a field that you like, are knowledgeable in already, or want to be. Healthcare, manufacturing, technology, etc. That way you can represent a business that you enjoy and fully understand.

Kristen recommends the following next steps:

Review online certification programs as suggested
Join professional organizations

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Kendra’s Answer

Hi Kierra,

Human Resources can be a tricky field to get into. One way you can distinguish yourself and advance is to really understand business. Not every HR job is in the "business" world, (you might work in non-profit or government as well) however, if you are seeking a corporate HR role, you have to understand how businesses works and how companies make money. I was a business major in undergrad then worked my way into a Recruiter position before returning to graduate school to study HR formally . I was finding it difficult to get that first HR specific role, and my graduate program really helped. I attended a top HR graduate program and was recruited by a Fortune 500 company to participate in a rotational leadership program for 2 years. Afterwards, I was placed in my first "real" HR job :) This really helped me to advance. Hope this helps!


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Kimberly’s Answer

Great question! I just started my full-time career in HR but I have been working on developing myself to move up in the HR world. One of the major steps I have taken was obtaining my Masters Degree in HR Management. This helped distinguish me as a valuable candidate dedicated to the field. Secondly, I obtained an HR Assistant position to introduce me to the field. These two items are great starting points. If you are unable to obtain the Masters Degree, I recommend looking into SHRM certificate or a PHR certificate. From there, obtain a position in a company where you are able to move up and develop your skills. Keep learning the ropes from those who have been in the profession for a while now. Lastly, continue to take courses to enhance your HR skills. HR is constantly developing so make sure you keep up with the trends. One trend I recommend learning about is HR analytics. Hope this helps!

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Kierra,

as in any other field, entry level positions such as HR coordinator are usually the first steps we all took when starting a career on the HR field. Look for internship opportunities online or in Job Fairs held by education entities or Job Sites such as LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor,etc.

Once you have your first position, try yourself all the different positions on the Hard and Soft skills available and volunteer for cross-jobs projects. The more diverse experience you have, the more versatile you will be for a future great opportunity! All the best!


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Gloria’s Answer

I believe that human resource roles are like any other roles in a company. You should be passionate about the work that you do. You should have pride in your work enough to learn about how to do your job well and continue to learn about your job as it grows and changes. For example, I am an Instructional Designer with a Masters degree in my field. I got my degree in 2009. My field has changed and the expectations of how I do what I do have changed as technology has changed. It is my responsibility to continue to learn about tools that didn't exist in 2009. I also respect what I do enough to explore new ideas around improving training. Right now, I am in the midst of learning best practices around virtual training during the time of COVID and training cannot stop happening.

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Michelle’s Answer

Kierra,

I agree with other answers that usually HR professionals start out in entry level positions and work their way up. I had a different path to my career in Human Resources. I graduated college with a degree in early childhood education and sociology. After working in the childcare field, I landed a job at my current employer in their onsite childcare center. Along with managing the center I took over both eldercare and wellness benefits and learned as much as I could about what employees needed to balance work and life and what the business could offer. Over time I began to manage many work-life benefits that include childcare, eldercare, education assistance, housing support, wellness, flexible work arrangements, corporate relief funds and much more. I just continued my quest to add benefits that support employees at every life stage.

For now, continue to learn about business, different benefit and compensation programs, recruiting and data analysis. I would also recommend finding a mentor or sponsor that can help guide you through different opportunities. Also, read up on what organizations offer to their employees.

Best of luck!!!!

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Katlyn’s Answer

Accept the challenge, practice an attitude of gratitude, ask as many questions as you can and always try to add to your professional "tool box" with new skills. I have found studying for professional exams and certifications to be really rewarding-- yes they are a ton of work, BUT you learn a wide variety of human resource components.

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