Its a big question on every parent and students mind when they start college. Hundreds of different concentrations and career paths, but really everyone is only meant to chose one or two (maybe three or four if you’re lucky). The struggle is real when determining what one is good at. Self reflection is important at the time of deciding a college career path. I can most certainly speak for myself in why I chose my career path from the get-go.
My father ran a golf business (and continues to do so) for over 20 years, so I figured I would want to do this one day. I choose management because this was something my father had to do everyday. Fast forward 3 years later, I was at a crossroad where I was not sure about my career path. I took a Human Resources course and absolutely loved it. One thing which intrigued me is “it depends” seemed to always be the answer for every situation. Whenever a small statement like this is used, it means there are many factors involved which need to be looked at and assessed.
I decided the Human Resources concentation would be best for me since there were different career paths associated with it. There was payroll, benefits, compensation, employee relations, training and development, recruitment, engagement etcetera. These options seemed just as good in comparision to just Management. I can honestly say I am so happy I picked the HR track because it lead to a fulfilling career so far.
Human Resources is looked at as a bad department or roadblock at times. I’ve been in many different situations where something was not processed or moved through because we had processes and procedures which had to be followed. What was so fun about it was we had control on whether to say yes or no in any circumstance. Of course I learned some individuals would have power to overrule us per se.
I enjoyed working with the difficult and fun employees. The challenge of not knowing what lied ahead really intrigued me. What was fun is discovering the true meaning of human resources. You should not choose Human Resources if you’re not good with people. It requires a certain type of person to handle angry, upset, overly excited or dry people. While the people part of the job is the most important; you have to be flexible at all times. Answering “no” seems to be a thing of the past in the field of HR. One has to look into the situation to ensure all bases are covered before answering.
I was faced with many situations where a question was asked which usually had a simple answer. I would answer and not realize there were other factors involved. A young HR professional will have these moments and have to learn from them. Fast forward 5 years, I realized I would be diligient in all my responses and answer only with absolute certainty. Answering on an assumption or a guess would only put my judgment into question.
I worked as a call center employee in the HR department for over one year, a processor of employment actions (hire to fire) for over four and a half years and eight months as a employee relations representative. Each was an eye opening experience for me. I enjoyed the challenge of having to look into situations and answer with certainty. I enjoyed learning how to document my decision making so I could later explain to anyone who asked about my thought process. Most of all, I loved doing my job.
There are plenty of careers where someone has to look at their watch all day. To me, Human Resources will certainly make the time fly. After over five years in the Human Resources field, I can certainly say I love being involved with it more and more. Of course learning never stopped after college. I decided to get certified by taking the PHR (Professioonal in Human Resources) examination as well as getting into an Executive MBA program. Studying for the PHR was an intense eight months of studying and a grueling 3 hours of testing.
Being certified was absolutely about getting the credentials, but later it took on new meaning. It became a reason to be more professinal, a reason to research more intensely and a reason to always be ethical, practical and legal in all my decision making. Growing up, it was easy to make the right decision; so Human Resources was a good field because it requires honestly and integrity.
Being an expert Human Resources professional is fun, because there are plenty of questions which others can’t answer which I can. Learning about the law is intriguing and ever-changing. In the midst of all this change, there is opportunity for Human Resources professionals to grow and learn. I enjoy doing the right thing everytime not because I have to, but because it is who I am. Human Resources is a demanding field, but one which will definitely continue to see increases in demand for motivated individuals. Hospitals, nursing homes, oil and gas businesses as well as any other large corporation require someone to hire, develop or fire. There is plenty to accomplish in this field and many different avenues to take.
I leave you with this, never quit learning and always find a reason to do a little more research everyday. In the end, you will be more informed about your decisions and create more sound judgment.