Find out how to gauge if your job is guiding you in the right direction

 sawyer-bengtson-279792-unsplash (1)-1Because companies have distinct recruiting and employee management needs, the job experience and advancement opportunities they offer HR professionals can vary — and it can be difficult to compare two HR career paths.

People working in HR, though, are considerably driven; research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development indicates they’re more likely to describe themselves as ambitious and pursue a senior management role than other workforce members — and some may periodically wonder if they’re making enough progress toward their long-term career goals.

A number may not be. Close to half (45 percent) of HR leaders say a growing amount of unqualified candidates are applying for high-level jobs, according to a 2018 Paychex survey — indicating some human resources career path planning efforts aren’t adequately preparing HR professionals to reach more advanced positions.

If you’ve ever contemplated whether or not your current HR role is providing enough opportunities to acquire and practice the necessary skills to move ahead, answering the following questions can help you determine if any adjustments need to be made:

Are you regularly interacting with key decision makers? Preferably, professionals working in HR will, at some point in their career, work directly with senior or other management members to be able to learn effective techniques to shape enterprise-wide plans.

Future employers may expect HR professionals to be able to weigh in on central operational aspects. Eighty percent of HR leaders say their department is viewed as a strategic partner within their organization, according to Paychex; providing evaluations of workplace productivity and efficiency and helping to drive results through company culture were two of the top three ways HR achieved its strategic partner status.

Are you obtaining effective professional development? HR leaders can’t depend on their company to gently nudge them up the career ladder. A Deloitte study that found 72 percent of employers no longer base HR career paths — or other employees’ progression — on simple, consecutive moves up an organizational chart.

concerned-employee-questioningHR professionals may need to proactively seek out training and education to help them advance. The specific subject areas, of course, may vary; department members who fell into a career in HR after working in another area, for example, often pursue professional development that involves relationship supervision, communication and other HR roles and responsibilities in an organization, according to a Society for Human Resource management survey.

Have you stayed in your current HR role too long? An analysis Namely published earlier this year suggests HR professionals’ salaries decrease as they remain at an organization, relative to other industry members’ salary expansion — somewhat drastically declining after an HR employee’s third year of employment.

If money was a driving force in your decision to pursue a career in HR, you may want to consider staying with employers for a shorter time period. Even if pay isn’t a main factor, if you feel your current HR role only offers stagnant learning and other experiences, it may be time to consider looking for a new job.

To learn more about the various elements that can influence employees’ human resources career path planning, view our blog posts on what it takes to assume a CHRO position, whether or not job automation could change the HR role, the current state of the HR profession, what HR candidates really want in a job and how to get HR professionals who are thinking of leaving to stay on board.

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