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Why Would Anyone Choose a Career In Human Resources?

You may not be surprised to learn that many people put more time and effort into the purchase of a stainless steel double-sided freezer on the bottom refrigerator then they put into making a career choice. Jobs are obtained but careers built over time, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously.

The good news is that unconscious career strategies can work, up to a point. Well-known career theorist John Krumboltz promotes the merits of the ‘Planned Happenstance’ method of career building. This is based on the reality that selecting your career may often involve a combination of luck, timing and opportunity. However, your ability to leverage this happenstance is crucial if you want to accomplish your goals.

We recently asked you to answer the question ‘Why did you choose a role in Human Resources?’ and this is what you told us.

The majority of people, 66% indicated they were interested in HR because is offered them the ability to help people. These findings are generally consistent with a recent survey of HR professionals, reported in the 2013 State of Talent Managers Report (from New Talent Management Network).  When asked for the reasons behind their HR career selection respondents indicates the primary included to ‘help people grow and develop’, (77%) ‘help maximize company profitability (58%) and help balance the needs of the organization and people (51%).

Assess what you like today and determine where you want to go tomorrow

Understanding why you selected a career, even if you are one of the 11% who selected the career as a result of opportunity and not necessarily a planned decision, will enable you to make conscious decisions in the future to guide and evolve your career. Successful Planned Happenstance careers include the ability to see opportunities that generally align with your interests, skills and options. Taking the time today to assess your full range of current career interests can increase your odds of successfully managing your own career tomorrow.

Keep Your Eyes Open For Opportunities

If you are among the 11% of respondents who indicated you had no idea what you were doing in HR take heart, just the act of acknowledging that thought can be a useful step in determining your next mote. This response may have been a result of a momentary bad day or a longer-term weight on your shoulders, but either way you can use this moment to stop and consider your future options.

Stop today and look around. Ask yourself if you are where you want to be, doing the job you want to be doing, working with the people you want to be working with, in the company you want to be working for today and in the future. You do not need to answer the question today or all at once, but ask the question and see where it takes you.


2013 State of Talent Managers Report New Talent Management Network report

Survey Says Helping People, Not Profits, Is Primary Driver for HR