Ready to make a declaration

I am ready to declare that HR is the profession for me. Do you have any career advancement advice?

Dear Jane, 

I first started my career in marketing, but have now had eight years in my current HR role and am ready to declare that this is the profession for me for a much longer term. Is there any one best piece of advice that helped guide you in to the senior stages of your career?

- Eager to progress

I’d recommend a few areas to consider.  HR is not the same as it was five years ago; many areas have now evolved into recognised areas of specialisation, from analytics or benefits, to mergers and acquisitions. 

Which parts of HR do you most enjoy?  Why?  Which areas do you likely need to develop? 

Some believe HR’s future is in data, with highly specialised roles of Data Scientist and Predictive Analyst.  As you progress in HR, understanding the value of data will be absolutely critical. Do not ignore it. 

Next, I’d recommend building a diverse network: find a mentor, someone overlapping HR and the business.  A network provides on-going career and business advice to keep you honest, and updated on trends and the industry. 

Build your consulting and coaching skills. The future is about information – not only through vast amounts of data – but in the ability to provide informed and measurable HR counsel.  As you move up the organisation, your ability to coach executives, ask great questions, offer advice, and listen will serve you well. 

Dr. Jane Horan is an expert in career transitions, unconscious bias and cross-cultural leadership. An internationally-recognised speaker, she is the author of "I Wish I’d Known That Earlier in My Career: The Power of Positive Workplace Politics", a business book used by corporate universities globally, and "How Asian Women Lead: Lessons for Global Corporations" to show new perspectives on leadership and careers, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

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