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How to progress in your HR career

Written by: Hazel Mason
Published on: 15 Nov 2019

Career development and progression are important considerations for HR professionals looking to gain senior roles. We offer our top tips to help you progress in your HR career.

How to progress in your HR career

HR is a career in which you can often quickly progress through the ranks from assistant to advisor to business partner. However, this slows when you reach senior level roles and the competition becomes more intense.

For some professionals, it is at this middle stage where they choose to specialise or move into other areas of HR they haven’t yet explored; whilst others begin to work on building their CV to stand out from the crowd. If you are one of those looking to progress into managerial, head and director roles, we share some top tips for climbing the ladder.

Our top tips for progressing in your career

1. Gain experience across the department

To become an effective HR leader, it definitely works in your favour to have experience across the department. Whether that means starting out in payroll, moving on into reward and then onto employee experience or other routes through the profession, it will enable you to show your overall HR expertise and not to just one or two specialisms.

Furthermore, whilst a generalist role is fantastic, it does also help to explore additional roles and gain more expertise in specialisms to understand the department as a whole and, ultimately, make you a better leader.

2. Explore other areas of the business

Similar to the above, exploring careers in other areas of the business will also contribute to making you a well-rounded leader in HR. With HR taking such an important place within the running of any business, it’s helpful for professionals to go out and explore those other aspects to garner further understanding. Whilst this is not a prerequisite and these opportunities might not always present themselves as easily, if you are offered the chance to expand your business acumen, we’d recommend you take it.

3. Take advantage of every opportunity to train and develop

In order to progress, it’s incredibly important to continue to learn and develop throughout your career to constantly be moving towards your goal. You don’t have to just develop in your profession as well, leadership and soft skills training are very important when it comes to securing and excelling in a senior HR role.

Plus, a lot of organisations will contribute towards the cost of professional training and some offer mentoring programmes to help you grow within your current role. This is the perfect opportunity for you to explore new areas and learn more about HR and leadership, developing the skills your role might not cover.

4. Get qualified

Finally, to really stand out from the crowd, you can gain a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). CIPD membership is a marker of your commitment to the profession and high level of skill and knowledge in HR.

With qualifications starting at Level 3 rising to Level 7, you can begin your study at any stage in your career gaining an in-depth understanding of the profession from HR and L&D experts. Find out more about studying with the CIPD here.

Find your next role

If you are looking for the next step in your career, whether into an HR Director, Head of HR or other role, make sure you search for vacancies with People Management Jobs.

We are the official job board of the CIPD and People Management. Our long-standing reputation within the industry as a trusted source of HR and L&D knowledge, insights and opinion makes us the top specialist job board for the profession. We can place you in the best position to find your next job.

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