Recently we shared data with HRinsider readers which indicated many HR professionals choose careers in HR to ‘facilitate growth and development of people’. For many people clarifying career aspirations can be motivating. HR professionals understand the value of encouraging other people to explore their career goals but they do not always sit down and evaluate their own. Recently we asked HRinsider readers a question about their own career aspirations and this is what we learned.
What are Your Big Picture Career Goals?
- I seek a role in a support capacity in the HR field
- My goal is a Management Role in the HR field
- My goal is a CHRO (Chief of Human Resources Operations)
- I would like to own or manage my own small business
- I would like to be a C-level professional (VP or CEO) in a large company
- I am seeking a role outside of HR but not listed here
The majority of HRinsider reader’s career aspirations include management and senior roles including C-level roles in business. However 28% indicated an interest in roles outside of HR management. In reality there are only a limited number of senior level roles in large companies and it is not often that HR professionals rise to the ranks of CEO. In a large survey of HR professionals from around the world it was revealed that just over half were interested in senior level roles and less than 4% aspired to the role of CEO.
Ask Yourself What You Enjoy Today
It is useful to remember why you selected your career in the first place and then determine what you enjoy and are good at doing today. That does not mean you are limited by your early interests or current strengths, but this information can be informative.
Examine the Day-to-Day activities of Jobs You Aspire To
As you look ahead explore the details of the jobs you are aspiring to. Find leaders in these roles and make a point of examining their career paths and talking to them about what it takes to be successful, including the sacrifices and the challenges. If you seek a leadership role you must be prepared to make the connections and have these conversations with other leaders.
Take Informed Risks
The new economy has changed the career path forward for many people. Previously people could find success with slow and steady progress. In today’s economy taking on unwanted projects, moving to new roles that push your skills or moving to a new young and hungry company can be necessary to maintain a career or move it forward. The path forward today involves navigating a zigzag adventure course requiring flexibility, adaptability and creative thinking. Taking the time to stop and evaluate your career aspirations is something you should consider at least once or preferably twice per year.
Aspiring to management and C-level roles in business can enable HR professionals to influence decision making at the highest levels in an organization. However, these roles are not for everyone. Do not aspire to them until you really understand what is involved and which types of roles would be the best fit for you personally.