In a recent post I talked about HR careers and how to get a job in HR. Today I’ll cover career opportunities for those in human resource jobs, specifically how to create career growth opportunities from within your job.
How I grew my career opportunities
I’ll go ahead and admit it: my first HR job wasn’t super strenuous. Surprised? Probably not. Most people in their first HR roles usually end up filing papers (me), handling the dull/routine tasks that nobody else wants (me), and generally wasting their time and energy on things that an admin or temp could do (me again). I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the opportunity to move into the HR profession, but if you have someone with a degree in HR and some enthusiasm, but you’ve kept them in a filing/admin type job for over six months, you’re wasting their brains and hamstringing yourself. They won’t do it forever.
That lack of stress and responsibility left me feeling like my free time could be used in a better way. At that time I had already started blogging to share about my new job and what I was doing/learning, but I really threw myself into it. I started using Twitter and LinkedIn to build connections with other human resources professionals around the world.
I was able to grow a little in my day job, but it seemed like there weren’t many opportunities for growth/challenge. Without Allen (my mentor and best friend) guiding me, I’d have sunk into a slump months ago.
Even with a full time work schedule, I had time for a few activities in my spare time…
- Interacted daily with VP/director level pros and thought leaders in my field
- Cofounded an HR conference that drew attendees from around the world
- Wrote an eBook targeted toward my industry’s certification exam
- Created and solidified dozens of partnerships with other blogs and businesses
- And most importantly, I established myself as an expert in my niche both locally and nationally
Yes, I have this whole world of stuff that I do outside my day job, but the full time gig is still what pays my bills and keeps my babies fed. And unless you’ve been briefed on my online (empire) activities, it just doesn’t sound very impressive to say, “I’m an HR blogger.” Eventually I came to the realization that the day job needed to keep up with the pace of the rest of my activities, and I started looking for another job.
Most of us have made some job changes in the past few years. You’ve heard my story. What prompted that change for you?
Other posts in the HR Careers series: