By Jade Little
Since completing my degree in Human Resources from Griffith University in 2021, I can honestly say that university has prepared me for my career path into the human resources profession. However, I’ve learnt that human behaviour is extremely unpredictable and many surprises and challenges have popped up along the way that I didn’t see coming.
If you are considering a career in HR, I think it’s important to share some truths about HR for you to consider before deciding if this is the right career for you:
- University doesn’t teach you everything! When starting your HR career, your colleagues and supervisor will give you feedback. Take this in a constructive way! Everyone is trying to help. Little things like office professionalism, 100% attention to detail, email communication, writing a blog – there’s a lot of on the job practical learning to absorb.
- Ask questions, be open minded and always say ‘yes’ to new things. It is the only way to learn!
- Never assume you know everything because you get all sorts of weird and wonderful questions in HR… things you could never imagine that you’d be dealing with.
- Not everyone is going to agree with you. It is important to not take things personally when others see things differently to you and accept that everyone has different perspectives. Ask questions as to ‘why’ and turn it into a learning experience.
- You will meet some of the best people, so appreciate the times that you get to work with them. You will also be exposed to the worst side of some people, but no one will ever really know this because it’s hidden under confidentiality. Don’t let the ugly behaviours tarnish your views of the great ones.
- Building good working relationships with all team members in the business is incredibly important. You must learn to deal with different personalities, how to communicate with different people and sometimes push yourself far outside of your comfort zone.
- Every organisation is different and has its own culture. You must develop skills to adapt quickly to different expectations, processes, structures and environments.
- Some days people can be challenging and you may feel deflated but remember ‘POSITIVE INTENT’. Everyone is trying to work towards a common goal (this little mantra has really helped me).
Depending on the environment you work in, HR can be a very rewarding profession. It is a balance of following policy, process and procedures and is a very administrative role with unpredictable human behaviour, where counselling skills and empathy is needed.
In the last year, I’ve:
- Recruited and placed more than 50 people into various jobs
- Learnt how to process multi-million dollar payrolls
- Conducted workplace investigations surrounding poor workplace conduct and behaviour
- Written and updated company policies and procedures
- Implemented Human Resource Information Systems to various clients
- Coordinated and participated in Formal Performance Management meetings
- Carried out (too many to count!) employee induction training sessions which includes collating all the new starter information and entering it into client portals
- And much, much more
I challenge you to take on an internship (check out the Gold Coast Study Jobs website and learn what you really enjoy about HR before deciding if this is your calling. It has been for me. If you are considering a career in HR, I’m more than available to have a chat with you at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org / (07) 5613 1846.