Human resources remains a popular field for people to go into as a career, and a high proportion of people stay within the industry for a very long time. This is normally put down to a great level of job satisfaction, since the work done by HR departments is designed to have visible benefits across an organisation, and ideally other employees and top level managers will value their efforts highly. The field also allows for specialisation in a number of interesting areas depending on what suits your skills the best.
To begin with most people would start as a generalist in human resources departments, although it’s possible to remain in this type of position and climb higher without specialising. In fact, directors or business partners at the top level of a company would most likely be classed as generalists since their responsibilities are so broad. However, when starting out you are more likely to take on the role of an assistant or apprentice which would normally include general HR duties and some training in different areas.
Later it may be possible to move into different roles with more of a particular focus, once you find out what you are best suited to. For example, you may be most interested in recruitment and planning different job roles. Bringing new people into an organisation is of course a vital element of human resourcing, so progressing in this line of work can be very rewarding if you select the best people for the job and they go on to become successful.
Focusing on internal employee relations is another option, especially if you are a naturally good mediator and have great empathy skills. If you are able to understand different people’s viewpoints and come up with compromises that cater to everyone’s needs fairly, you can succeed in this area. Not everything will be about resolving conflicts, but you will need to anticipate and avoid them before problems arise if you want to be an effective advisor in this field.
Another area to consider specialising in would be training and education within the business. Whether you are planning and coordinating employee development or delivering training sessions yourself, this can be a satisfying career as you would be directly responsible for improving the skills and effectiveness of your current staff, which benefits the business as a whole and also empowers people to reach their potential.