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Question: Help People Develop, or Get Ahead?

We recently asked HRinsider readers the question ‘why did you choose a career in Human Resources?” The majority of you told us it was to be involved in helping people grow and develop.

In a 2013 global survey of HR professionals reported in ‘State of Talent Managers Report (from New Talent Management Network) a series of questions was asked related to HR career choice and career growth.

Among a series of questions Human Resources professionals were asked to identify items that represented their ‘reason for selecting a career in HR’. In general their responses indicated the majority of HR professionals entered the field for ‘humanistic’ reasons over ‘capitalistic’ reasons. The top reason cited most frequently as the primary reasons was literally ‘I want to help people grow and develop’. The most frequent response as a secondary reason was ‘I want to represent the needs of employees in my organization’.  Here is the data in more detail presented by geographic region and then by job function.


In the HRInsider survey 11% of respondents told us they found themselves in an HR career as a result of an opportunity presenting itself and not necessarily a career choice.

What About Getting Ahead in Your Career?

It was also interesting to note that when asked about career growth, those who selected ‘capitalistic’ reasons for choosing a career in HR were more likely to indicate they had experienced  ‘much’ or ‘somewhat’ faster career growth than expected.


Know The Reasons For Your Own Career Choices

Examining your own reasons for your career choices and decisions can be an informative action. It can provide you with the opportunity to reassess and reevaluate what you like and what you do not like about the career journey you are on. By taking the time to explore this information you can position yourself to make more consciously aware career choices and moves. According to the data we examined if you are seeking to grow your career faster you may want to consider how your thought process about your career is impacting your career growth prospects.


2013 State of Talent Managers Report New Talent Management Network report