Three Essential Strategies to Develop Your HR Career
Improving your skills and knowledge is the most effective way to move up the career ladder, particularly when it comes the human resources field. Here are some of the most useful strategies to consider when it comes to developing your career in HR.
1. Identify clear career goals
Setting goals is essential when it comes to career development — you need to know where you’re going before you can decide how to get there, after all. A long-term career objective gives structure to your ideas, and will start to turn a vague daydream into a reality.
Ask yourself what you really want out of your career development: do you want a managerial or director role, for example, or do you want to improve your skills in your current role? What specialist skills, knowledge and experience might you need to achieve your goal?
Once you have a clear career objective in mind, break it down into smaller tasks and set achievable targets.
2. Develop your existing skills and knowledge
One of the easiest ways to develop your career in the HR industry is to improve the skills and expertise you already have. HR is a constantly evolving sector and that means you’ll need to adapt to changes in law, business-thinking, and technology to keep performing at your best — think recent changes to Gender Pay Gap reporting, Statutory Sick Pay and GDPR regulations for example.
The most effective methods to develop your HR skills and knowledge include:
- Keeping up to date with current trends by following industry publications (peoplemanagement.co.uk, personneltoday.com, and hrmagazine.co.uk, for example)
- Reading books and blogs about HR
- Completing a training course
- Studying for a CIPD qualification
Each approach is suited to a particular context. In the short-term, a more informal, independent learning approach might suit you. This can help you develop individual skills and keep up-to-date with new developments in HR.
In the long-term, completing a CIPD Diploma or Certificate is the best way to ensure you have the comprehensive specialist and generalist skills you need to take the next step in your career (and show off those skills on your CV). Investing in a qualification can also be a good indicator of your motivation and drive to senior management.
3. Be open to change
Change can be scary, but it shouldn’t stop you from achieving your career goals.
A recent study by Archy de Berker and a team of researchers found that a fear of uncertainty appears hard-wired into the human brain. Most importantly though, they found that you can adapt to your fears and overcome them.
Adapting to change, and embracing it when you need to, can help you achieve your career goals over time.