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Readers Respond: How Did You Transition to a Career in Human Resources Management?

Responses: 35

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One of the most frequent questions emailed to this Human Resources site asks how to make a career transition into HR. Many people who work in Human Resources Management made a career transition to enter the HR field. In the article associated with this Reader Answers form, many of your colleagues and networking associates shared their stories about how they made the career transition into HR. This is an opportunity for you to share how you made the transition into an HR career. See More Reader Responses.

Degree in HRM; Now What?

I have had a degree in HRM since 2011. The company I currently work for has not been forthcoming about allowing me to properly shadow to get the experience I need so that when a position is open, I will qualify not only because I have been working here for almost five years but because I truly understand HR functions. Any time I apply here or elsewhere, I get the: "We are looking for someone with more experience" rejections. Where can I go to get this experience that no one is willing to allow me access to? I have Management, Sales, and Customer Service experience, all things that would work well in HR along with the fact that I am smart; just not the actual HR work experience. It feels like it is more about who you know than what you know these days so how can I network in the industry? I know about SHRM but how does being a part of this organization directly impact my chances of attaining my career goals? I am ready to FINALLY begin my career of choice. Thanks!
—Guest R.L. McClain

Interested in HR

I have been thinking for a while, what I really want as a career. I had a degree in accountancy years back and am studying ACCA right now, but am still not sure if I want to go into accountancy. Been doing a read up on career choices and finally today I decided I will go into human resources. Don't really know what first step to take, since I have no experience (worked in customer service and currently a cashier) and I will definitely have to step up for the qualifications. I must say I gathered more inspiration reading some stories on the blog. Really dont know what qualifications are best for the HR career. Would appreciate some opinions and guides to moving to the career. (Please take a look at http://humanresources.about.com/od/hrbasicsfaq/tp/human-resources-employment.htm and http://humanresources.about.com/od/hrbasicsfaq/tp/careers_in_hr.htm for next step ideas. Best wishes to you.)
—valumah

A Milestone for my Career Change to HR

I was thoroughly good in Communication, and the Political field and achieved an intensive expertise in such fields, but abruptly stand at the cross-road. Nevertheless, I wished long ago to engage in the HR field, but could not find logical rationals for my transition. Not too long, but soon when I am finished with the HR, and PPM papers in my MBA, and working background as CapDev building/HR adviser some years ago, I steadily returned to work in the HR field to make it my future professional field. I started as HR Manager, and experienced many ups and downs during my tenure but it seems to be successful. now, finally, I can say that, enthusiasim, academic background, and constant practice can make you an expert in the HR field and HR Programmer. Best.
—Guest Said Intizar Khadim

Engineering to HR Director

I was trained in Industrial Engineering and worked in a mail sorting facility as such. During my Industrial Engineering years, I have completed my MBA with a Finance focus. I continued working as an Industrial Engineer and Project Manager mainly in the Airline industry. My first exposure to HR began when I started constructing manpower models for various labour intensive processes and scheduling. Then I joined a company as project manager/industrial engineer managing the budgets and manpower planning of a very large HR division. This is where I have obtained the knowledge of how HR works as a unit and the technology required to run an efficient HR. In my next position in a start up company, I ended up putting on alot of hats in various HR positions and found out that I had the personality and common sense to be a good HR person. I became an HR Director within five years. If you are able to show case your ability to run HR, I think transition to HR is possible from any field.
—Guest Murat

Interested in transition to HR

I entered the transportation/logistics industry through a friend. I began in the payroll department like most who enter the company with no experience. After a year, I was asked to join the Safety Department and I helped with recruiting drivers and took over a position that is very similar to Human Resources. I have been doing it for five years and have become extremely interested in working in HR. At my current company, we are fairly small, and have one person who is over HR. There is no opportunity for me in our HR department and I am now interested in returning to school to get a degree in Business Management. I am now hoping to find an HR position that does not require experience or education to get myself started. Wish me luck!
—Guest Judy

Marketing to HR

I am an MBA student with a marketing specialization. Now I realize my passion is in HR. Can you please help me in this? (Here is my main career in HR information: http://humanresources.about.com/od/hrbasicsfaq/tp/careers_in_hr.htm Good luck. Happy New Year. Susan)
—Guest Emran

A good starting point

I began my career in HR when I answered an ad for an Administrative Assistant at a staffing agency. At first I thought it was a temporary job, however, after the interview they offered me a permanent in house position. Because we were a small office, each person wore many hats. Through this experience, I worked hands on with I9 forms, tax paperwork and HR software. Over time, I became trained in payroll, running new hire orientations and placing ads. When one of the Recruiters moved out of state, I was offered their position. I found myself excelling in this role and enjoying the interview and recruitment process. The experience gained there prepared me for the HR career I have now. Staffing agencies are a great way to get recruitment and employment law experience; they often have entry level positions that involve HR paperwork handling and assisting the recruitment staff. Skills gained in such positions are great resume builders and can lead to in house promotions.
—Guest Jennie

Economics and Mathematics to HR

I have been working in an R&D department and it has not been okay with me because I am not working in the department where my passion lies. I have almost rounded up with my CIPMN and want to move to our HR department but my boss is fighting me. What should I do.
—Guest Blessing

Searching for an opening in HR

Actually I was so confused, about how to get in to the HR department, how I'll get an opportunity to enter, because I don't have any previous experiance in HR. Now I just completed my MBA in HR. My work experiance includes 5 years marketing and 7 years as an administration manager. After reading the responses of others, now I feel confident that I can also be an HR manager. Thanks to all for the motivation.........
—Guest AneeshKonnakkal

Getting Started

I'm a final year electronics student. Now I'm having a dream of being in HR. I am greatly passionate about my dream, but I'm starting with ZERO experience....and I'm counting on the advices of people like you.... so please suggest the path for me. (See: http://humanresources.about.com/od/hrbasicsfaq/tp/careers_in_hr.htm for a path.) Good luck.
—Guest monali

Intention to switch to HR office

My story is mostly like the others, with the difference that I am in the process now to transfer to the HR department. I have been an executive assistant to the CEO for 5 years, and I want more challenges while working with people AND remain at the core of a busy department at my organization. I want to get experience and move to big 4, if they select me. I have a prejudice, so I need your objective advice: the HR director has suggested for me the position of HR assistant, while I feel offended. I know that offense is irrelevant as I've no HR experience. But, I am in good relations with my boss. How can I influence him to make me a manager (officer) not an assistant? P.S. I've an MA in sociology. (Susan says: Most importantly, prepare a business case for why it is beneficial to your organization to make you a manager. Present the business case to your boss. This might include things such as interacting with other managers at that level as an equal to influence decisions and direction, enhancing your ability to accomplish the HR role, etc. Good luck.)
—Manshuk

From Banking to HR

I did my graduation in life science and an MBA in HR. Recession hit me and I got a job as Manager in a private Bank but that was not my cup of tea. I learnt many banking activities but the major concern was employee management. The "Human" side of the organization is to be managed first. General Manager could not handle the employees inspite of his enormous experience. Empathy was my greatest strength and this helped me connect emotionally with employees and understand their problems in the right sense. I then resigned and joined HR again and now am having a blast...This was a transition that transcends.............
—Guest Sana

Great in HR

I did my HR after completion of my bachelors degree from B.sc in life sciencs. It has a great future: currently working as a recruiter, I enjoy my job in doing HR career, ultimately superb course.
—Guest kir

HR transition

I was working as an accounting clerk for a small manufacturing firm. One day the DOL showed up. At that point no one was in charge of personnel files let alone HR. We had grown to a company of over 100 employees in 2 states and were expected to continue growing. I worked with the owner's wife to correct the issues the DOL found, wrote the correction letters, spoke with the DOL and impressed my boss's wife (also the VP) enough that she recommended I set up an HR department. I spent 6 years with that company, took some online classes, went to seminars, picked the brains of experienced HR people, joined employer job groups and found that I have a real knack for HR and dealing with people in general. The environment I was working in was, to put it mildly, less than ideal. The owner was very old school: "this is my company and I'll do what I want, fire who I want and say whatever I want," but the opportunity they gave me has led to a great career.
—Guest Babs

HR - My Passion...

I am a final year engineering student in CSE. During the four years of my study, I realised that I am more of an HR type than a technical one. Yez, it's never going to be an M-tech but an MBA. I am eager to get out and start chasing my dreams. Hope you will all pray for me....
—Guest Mary Kurian
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