Just 15% started out in HR, and more than half said their reasons for entering the profession were heavily influenced by change and external forces rather than an active desire to work in HR, according to the XpertHR Survey.
Just 11% were attracted to HR because it was a well-respected profession, with fewer still (10%) seeing it as offering good opportunities for career advancement.
“Although many entered the profession by chance, the majority of HR professionals surveyed are happy with the career choice they made, believe that HR is valued by senior managers in their organization, and have encouraging advice for anyone seeking to enter the profession today,” says Peggy Carter-Ward, Head of Content, XpertHR. “However, there is a significant minority who appear unhappy with their lot, feel undervalued by their employer and see more roadblocks than opportunities in their future HR careers.”
HR’s battle to be recognized as a business partner was reflected by the 40% of respondents who said their career was held back by their employer’s failure to view HR as important and 31% who said they were effected by the lack of a clear HR strategy in their organization.
It was vital that HR professionals take ownership of their career path and work to increase opportunities, Erin Daruska, director of human capital consulting at TriNet, said
Six in 10 HR professionals would still choose HR as a career if they were starting over. Of course, that leaves a significant number who said they definitely would not (8.7%) or did not know (30%).
“I am a firm believer in shaping your own destiny. Had I not taken charge of my own career years ago, I know I would not be in the role I am in today,” Daruszka said. “Back then, my managers seemed to see only some of my capabilities.”
After missing out on numerous development opportunities, Daruszka took matters into her own hands
“It's paramount for you to have a realistic sense for your strengths, your weaknesses and where you want your career to go,” she said.
She suggested finding a mentor or buddy to challenge you and to find ways to develop skills you haven’t had the opportunity to use.
What brought you into HR? How are you taking charge of your career?
Did you start your career in HR? If you did, you’re in the minority. Most HR professionals (84.8%) moved into HR from a different business line, according to a recent study.