Is Human Resources the Right Career for You?

Last updated: Dec 22, 2020

If you’re an extrovert who thrives on working with others, there are plenty of reasons to consider a human resources career. HR is a high-touch field, and practitioners interact with people from all walks of life from sun up to sun down. But it takes more than just people skills to succeed in an HR role. Is human resources the right career for you? Read on to explore whether the field is a good fit for your innate skills and personality.

 

Consider the Traits You’ll Need for an HR Career Path

Most HR practitioners tend to have eight distinct characteristics that lead to success in the field. You might be an ideal candidate to join their ranks if:

 

Male discussing with a male friend whether whether or not a Human Resources career path is right for him.

You’re Approachable

Does everyone at the playground know you because you’re easy to talk to? Do your friends and family regularly seek your advice because they feel comfortable that you’ll offer workable solutions without choosing sides?

 

If you answered yes, you’re an HR natural! Building trust and rapport with employees, colleagues, and leadership is the bedrock of an effective human resources career. Staff at all levels need to be comfortable talking with you about a range of sensitive issues, feel confident in your guidance, and accept your conflict-resolution strategies.

 

You’re Interested in How People Think

Maybe you took a few psychology classes in college and loved them. Maybe you observe people in the grocery store and wonder why they make certain decisions. Maybe you enjoy trying to figure out what your favorite sitcom character will do in the next episode. No matter how your interest manifests itself, figuring out what makes people tick is a common trait among HR professionals who rely on skills in human and organizational psychology on a daily basis.

 

You’re a Master at Strategizing and Problem Solving

Are you the family ringmaster – the one who figures out how to get your son to karate practice, let the exterminator in the house, and pick up your daughter from ballet – all while you’re in a client meeting? No challenge is too big. You always work something out.

 

Believe it or not, these skills will serve you well in human resources jobs. The best HR pros are adept at recognizing upcoming needs, developing creative solutions, and communicating action plans in a manner that satisfies all parties. For example, if your company decides to enter a new market, you may be called upon to determine if new positions are needed, what skills will be required, what the compensation structure should be, and whether existing resources need to be shifted.

 

You Can Keep Secrets

If you’re the first person people turn to with their secrets because they know your lips are sealed, you’re ideally suited for a human resources job. HR practitioners are a key resource for everything from employee health issues to harassment claims. In addition, there will be times when they are privy to distressing decisions (such as layoffs) long before the news is announced. It’s imperative that HR professionals maintain confidentiality at all times.

 

You Know How to Influence People

Are you skilled in the art of persuasion? If the title of your life story could be “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” you could be an exceptional HR professional. As a strategic business function, human resources often requires practitioners to evaluate situations and influence the decision-making process by listening to all points of view, doing any necessary research, and persuading executives or staff to take a particular course of action based on facts.

 

You’re Empathetic, Tactful, and Fair

A career in HR is about more than just being nice. There will be the high moments of offering someone a job or announcing a promotion. However, you also will be called upon to deliver tough news, such as layoffs, or explain why a raise isn’t warranted. It’s an HR professional’s job to handle difficult situations with empathy and fairness. If you can present facts impartially, offer help, and treat everyone with care and dignity, you’re well positioned for a human resources career.

 

Consider the Financial Benefits

In addition to being personally rewarding, HR can be a lucrative career choice, too. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a human resources manager was $116,720 in 2019, and the field is expected to grow by six percent through 2029 – must faster than average. Human resources also ranked no. 12 on Glassdoor’s list of best jobs in 2020, based on salary, job satisfaction, and the number of job openings available.

 
Female talking with a female coworker whether or not a career path in Human Resources is right for her or not.

 

Ready to Switch Careers? Get the HR Credentials You Need With USF.

If it’s time to make a career change, USF can help you land your first human resources job. Our live online courses and certificate programs equip new HR practitioners with the credentials that show potential employers you’re ready to excel on day one. Explore our upcoming courses, instructors, and costs, or contact us at 813-974-0950 or CE-Inquiries@usf.edu for more information.

 

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