Ways to Advance Your Career as an HR Professional

by Nancy Rodriguez August 3, 2019

Are you feeling as your career in Human Resources is not advancing?  Have you been thinking how to advance to earn that next promotion?

Sometimes it is hard to focus when you are inundated with your day to day responsibilities at work, but it is important that you keep broadening your skills so you can strengthen your credentials.

Here are some tips on how you can become more visible in your organization, secure a promotion or gain leadership experience:

Take a Proactive Role

It is important to have a proactive attitude in Human Resources as everyday you will be faced with many challenges and thinking outside the box to come up with solutions to every day challenges will add value to your role. Take a look at areas where you can help the company grow for example if there is an opportunity to put an engagement program together or if there are processes that can improve productivity and evaluate your task so you can work smarter and not harder.   Ensure that you communicate with your leadership team of what your plans are so they are onboard and can support your efforts.  Communicating with employees an getting their feedback is as important, encourage people to be creative and provide you with ideas to improve the work environment.  Once employees see their ideas in action, they will be more willing to come up with new ideas.  Facilitate workshops, mentoring or planning day sessions to gain more visibility and build relationships with your staff.

Broaden Your Knowledge of HR

Being specialized in one area of Human Resources provides you that unique value, but making sure that you are exposed to different areas of HR for example benefits, payroll, employee relations, talent management, etc.  it will add greater value to your HR career and will provide more opportunities for advancement. Ask your manager to allow you to explore other aspects of HR or to invite you to special project meetings to learn outside your scope of responsibilities.

Find a mentor who has the expertise of your areas of interest. A mentor will be able to guide you and provide you with advice and can help you develop your leadership and HR skills.

Get Certified as an HR Professional

Focus in your education you may want to get a degree in Human Resources or take it to the next level as an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. An MBA will provide you with the skills in business to be able to offer support and understand the modern business.  There are also other certifications that would add the credential that you may need to advance your career as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) certification.  Do some research and find out which would be in better alignment with your career goals.  

Don’t Just Think HR

Surround yourself with various professions and make connections. As an HR professional interacting with other departments to gain a better understanding of how the business operates will give you a better perspective to be able to come up with new creative solutions that can impact the organization’s bottom line as your knowledge is expanded. You will also need to have the right interpersonal skills to work with different people.

Reach out and make connections through social media, subscribe to journals, grow your network through LinkedIn.  Get involved in the HR community, attend local HR meetings organized by your HR chapter, attend webinars to enhance your HR knowledge and connect with others outside your profession.

As you continue to build your career focus on your ultimate goal, but don’t be afraid if you may have to take a different role while you build your skills either as an HR Specialist or HR Generalist.  As you continue to build your skills and building your network it will help you to move your career forward.

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