Why I Chose a Career in HR
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I ended up in HR, and why I chose this field as my career. I have given my career aspirations a lot of thought–probably more than most people do. My dad has always told me to choose something where I can make more money–be a doctor, be a lawyer, be a politician, be anything that rakes in cash, but after much thought (and some trial and error), I chose HR as a career for a few different reasons.
1. I’ve tried so many other things, and nothing is as awesome as HR (to me). I don’t know if anyone else has spent as much time doing actual career exploration. I spent the better part of my younger years trying different career paths. I tried Youth Court, in case I someday wanted to be a lawyer–I wasn’t a fan. (I loved the idea of it, but implementation wasn’t for me). I tried politics, and it didn’t feel genuine–I felt like I could have the power to help others, but that my hands would be uncomfortably tied. I even tried the life of a librarian–I shelved so many books, but barley had time to read the ones I wanted. When I did my internship in HR, it made me happy at the end of every day, and I couldn’t ask for a better career fit. You know you’re in the right place when people trust you enough to ask you for advice based on what you do for a living, and you’ll offer it to them for free…over and over again.
2. HR feels natural to me. HR lets me take care of others. I care so much about people around me that it seems ridiculous to not do it for a living. I enjoy being a resource to others, and making sure they have what they need to be happy, productive, and well. I’m the type of person who will put my emotions and loyalties aside to give you the straight answer–as unbiased of an answer as I can possibly give. Friends don’t call me for the “feel good” answer, they call me for the answer they need to hear. That’s HR for you.
3. HR gives me options. I have no idea what my life is going to look like in 5, 10, or even 15 years. I have no idea what the economy is going to look like either. What I do know, is that companies need HR–regardless of whether the economy is good or bad, there will always be a need to take care of people and to comply with the laws. What if I decide to have a family? That’s fine–HR gives you the opportunity to consult, to coach, to counsel. If I wanted to start my own consulting practice, I have options. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m not a “sit there and twiddle my thumbs” type of person. If I have a free moment, I’m using it to be productive, to build relationships, or to do something new. I will work until I’m dead. I’ve also told myself that if I choose to do a career change, I would look into education administration. The idea of working as a liaison between parents and teachers for the betterment of young people is a direct skill transfer. Granted, I would take the time to teach for a while in order to gain the experience an education administrator would need, but it would be a great career change if I ever got sick of HR (I’ll be honest–I don’t see this one happening.)
There is no better feeling than waking up every morning, excited to go to work. Working for a company that supports the HR function as the perfect balance of administration, operations, and strategy, couldn’t be a more ideal situation for me.
What’s your story? How did you end up in your career/field/industry?