It is my intention to become a HR manager within the next five years. This paper will discuss my objectives, measuring those objectives, interactions on current life/work balance, and how current trends in the marketplace could influence anticipated training needs.
Long ago I decided that I wanted to work in HR due to my belief that everyone should be treated fairly. I joined the military, retired and currently work in Human services but not Human Resources. I decided to get back to it and started to pursue a degree in HR Management. I looked at what I felt I should need and made a checklist. My checklist included SHRM membership, a degree in HR management, updating my resume for HR management and evaluating my skills to see which of these were transferrable to this profession for possible interviews. Measuring these objectives will be straightforward. Did I acquire SHRM membership, and the degree I currently feel is necessary, and does my resume now show HR management, do I now have talking points about this position for interviews and did I obtain a position in the HR department? This plan will have a moderate impact on my work/life balance. To pay for school and bills I work full time. I am waking 45 minutes earlier during the week come to work for an hour per day for classwork. If time is needed on the weekends I adjust. I am divorced, and my significant other is not local, so I have ample free time. The only uncertain item that I am unable to prepare for is how much technology will impact this position. I am hopeful that I could benefit from this and possibly work from home.
This position is like any other position. For me to be successful I need to possess certain skills and competencies. When preparing for this position, I researched what most HR professionals would agree are mandatory skills. At my company, I am expected to have the most Human Resources Knowledge. I know that applicants can look up information as well, so I must know more than they do. I need to know the entire process for the company, from hiring to termination. To be an asset for the company, I need to be able to think “big picture” and how I contribute to it. My position is not one-sided but both sides, and retaining good employees is a big part of my job. I must understand that this position will require an ongoing learning. It’s not enough to know my job today. I realize that in this position knowledge is flexible and always changing. To remain relevant to people I must be willing to keep up to date about HR. This learning can come from online classes, webinars, conferences, HR meetings or anywhere. The idea is to remain flexible and to recognize weak areas and fix them. Having knowledge is nothing if I am unable to share that information. I must have strong communication skills in Human Resources. The crucial part of this position is resolving conflict between workers and management. If I am not able to do this I have failed and made matters worse. My communication needs to be clear, concise and most importantly understandable by both parties. This means no huge words but simple words for easier understanding. Sometimes people just want to be heard and sympathized with even if I am unable to change things I can listen. I should also have critical thinking skills. If the issue was simple I would not be needed. I will need to be able to balance the needs of the company with the needs of its workers. I must balance personal situations with company bottom line and do it in a timely manner, even if I must go outside-the-box for the answer. Understanding my position as a company employee I still must have an ethical approach for HR. Its not just about the money! I have a responsibility to people too. HR professionals face ethical issues every day, If the HR manager is unbiased and fair and committed to ethics, this will give all employees someone that they can trust to do the right thing. Making sure the company’s policies and practices are compliant legally is also big in the world of human resources. Avoiding discrimination is important because of the hurt and legal ramifications it will avoid as well as cultivate a diverse work environment. Finally, I need to have HR organizational skills. The more organized I am, the better I can stay on top of what I need to do and have more wiggle room for what would be nice to do. While all these skills seem like a lot, they all go hand in hand with the profession and I am already in possession of some transferrable skills that will assist me in reaching my goals. While my skills are not necessarily in HR I do possess strong communication skills in oral and written form, I have critical thinking skills, I have an ethical approach in everything and strong organizational skills. All of these I learned from a 20-year career in the military. I feel that they will be up to the task and that I will be able to correctly use them to further my HR goals.
It is not enough to want to have this position. Certain formal education is required as well as certification. Not only will school give me required information, it will give me contacts to draw information from. When I first started reading on what the requirements were, I saw that at a minimum a bachelor’s degree in HR was needed. I have a BS in Human Services so obtaining the Masters in HR Management will be necessary to offset not have the Bachelors in HR. As for certifications there are several and they are at different levels. Depending on what work I am hired for will dictate what I should qualify. I will start at the aPHR Associate Professional in Human Resources level. This is a global certification for professionals who are starting their careers in human resources. It focuses on helping learners understand the tactical and operational tasks of human resources and how it applies to workforce management. I also plan on joining the SHRM organization as this organization has lots of resources and anyone who intends to stay in this profession should join if for no other reason than to get a discount to the periodic trainings to disseminate information about changes I would also seek out a mentor. A mentor would be helpful for much of the reasons as joining the SHRM association. A mentor should be able to provide constructive criticism and offer ways to assist me in becoming a better HR professional. They may also be able to provide resources that I may be able to get my company to utilize to better benefit my organization and at the same time making me look better.
Different attributes work for different people as not all people are driven by the same thing for work satisfaction. I asked myself what matters the most to me with the answer I find employment that best suites those things. First is adequate salary and benefits, this includes paid vacation days and sick days, raises-how often and how much along with being able to contribute to a company retirement funds with matching by the employer. Next is company climate. I need to be happy at work. I need to like where I work and like the people I work with. Along with that I need recognition of efforts. If the company values what I do I will be recognized for that and looked at for more opportunities.
I understand that the road is not easy, that the plan is subject to change and that not everyone is successful, however after all the planning and execution I will have eliminated everything that I could control. I believe that determination, networking, and opportunity will make a way and that I will be successful.
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