Taking on the Human Resources Career: What to Do Today

  • A career in HR offers profitability and satisfaction, requiring continuous learning and knowledge of industry trends.
  • Obtaining an HR degree, earning industry certifications, joining HR associations, and gaining practical experience is pivotal.
  • Keeping abreast of tech innovations in HR through webinars, newsletters, and product demos enhances your marketability.
  • Building a solid professional HR network opens career advancement opportunities and valuable industry insights.

The Human Resources (HR) industry is a highly profitable career path due to its fundamental role in every business. As a strategic partner, HR professionals are pivotal in shaping company policies, managing employee benefits, and recruiting talent, directly contributing to a company’s bottom line. The median annual wage for human resources managers was $130,000 in 2022, significantly higher than the median for all occupations. This underscores the financial potential of the HR industry and underlines its profitability as a career option.

As profitable as being in HR can be, you cannot guarantee success. There will be ups and downs, failures and successes, but ultimately, the satisfaction of positively impacting people’s lives makes the job worthwhile. A career in HR requires continuous learning and staying updated with industry trends, as HR professionals are responsible for keeping their companies compliant with ever-changing labor laws.

So, what can you do today to take on a successful HR career? Here are a few steps to get you started:

Education Yourself

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Education is the first step towards a successful career in HR. While some may argue that practical experience is more valuable, having a solid educational foundation can set you apart from your peers and give you an edge in the job market. Here are a few steps to help you:

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management

Opting for an online Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management is the first significant step on your HR career path. This program equips you with a comprehensive understanding of labor laws, employee relations, payroll systems, and benefits administration. You’ll also gain insights into strategic planning, performance management, and HR information systems.

Enhance your Competencies with Certifications

While a degree provides the foundation, earning HR certifications can make you more marketable. Certifications like PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, and SHRM-SCP showcase your commitment to staying updated with the industry’s evolving dynamics. These credentials also highlight your HR practices, laws, and regulations expertise.

Join Professional HR Associations

Membership in professional HR associations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the National Human Resources Association (NHRA), can provide networking opportunities, access to industry research, and various resources to keep you abreast of current HR trends.

Gain Practical Experience through Internships

Internships offer a hands-on opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in your online Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. They also introduce you to the HR landscape, help develop your interpersonal skills, and provide a chance to network with industry professionals.

Embrace Innovation

Staying abreast of the latest technology and software in the HR field is crucial for a successful career. The modern HR landscape is increasingly pivoting towards digitization, making technologically adept HR professionals highly sought after. Technological advancements, such as AI-powered HR platforms, analytics tools, and digital onboarding solutions, are transforming traditional HR processes, offering streamlined, accurate, and efficient alternatives. By keeping updated with these advancements, you position yourself as a valuable contributor to your organization, capable of driving strategic, tech-driven decisions.

There are several ways to stay updated with the latest tech and software in the HR field:

Attend Tech-focused HR Webinars and Workshops

Webinars and workshops offer a platform to learn about the latest HR technologies from industry experts. You can participate in discussions, ask questions, and learn how different companies leverage new tools and software.

Subscribe to HR Tech Newsletters and Blogs

Regularly reading HR tech newsletters and blogs can keep you informed about the latest trends and innovations in the field. Websites like HR Technologist and HR Dive offer valuable insights and analysis on the latest HR technologies.

Experiment with Free Trials and Demos

Many HR tech companies offer free trials or demos of their products such as recruitment software. By experimenting with these, you can get a hands-on feel of the software, understand its benefits, and decide if it could fit your organization well.

Build a Strong Network

Building a solid professional network is a cornerstone of career success in the HR industry. Networking not only opens up opportunities for career advancement, but it also provides valuable insights and the chance to learn from the experiences of industry peers and mentors. It’s essential to make connections within your organization, as well as in broader HR circles and industry events. Attend HR conferences, join online forums and discussions, and leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with HR professionals at different career stages.

Remember, networking isn’t merely about taking—it’s about building mutually beneficial relationships. Be ready to share your insights and experiences, and always lend a helping hand to others in your network. Consistent networking can lead to job opportunities, partnerships, and learning opportunities that might not come through traditional channels.

Final Thoughts

Starting a career in HR may seem challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can pave your way toward success. Education, innovation, and networking are essential for a thriving career in this dynamic industry. By staying updated with industry trends, building a robust professional network, and continuously learning, you position yourself as an invaluable asset to any organization and open doors to new and exciting opportunities.

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