Dear recent HRM graduates: If you think you are now an HR expert after your 4 long and hard years of studies be prepared for a reality check!
Human Resources is one of those careers you cannot think you have mastered because you have sat in class for 4 years. It takes many years of ‘real life’ on the job experience before you can really start feeling more confident in your expertise. Even HR Professionals with 15+ years of experience are still learning new things and facing new challenges on daily basis.
Working as a human resources professional, means you are dealing with people and you cannot always predict what will occur, or what situation you will be faced with. As you gain experience you will learn how to reduce risk, prepare for potential situations and manage existing ones. This takes time! Your education paves a foundation which steers you in the right direction but you still have to learn as you go. Working in Human Resources is an ongoing learning experience; you have to put in your time and you have to be open and willing to learn.
At Pivotal, I am lucky to have the opportunity to work in an amazing environment that provides me with the perfect learning setting. I have a whole network of HR Professionals here to guide me while I learn and gain exposure to various facets of HR. Here you are not micromanaged, and instead you are given a chance to take on new and exciting challenges and responsibilities. You always have a strong support team to back you up. Getting involved in a lot of projects is a great way to learn, and I have had many opportunities to work in areas such as compensation, recruitment, research and development, Health and Safety to name a few!
As a recent grad, it is important you find the right employer that will help you grow! This is imperative because not everyone will have the same experiences. Make sure that when you are looking for a job you find the right company, one that will provide you with the learning environment that you need to develop.
Quick tips for recent HR grads:
- Find yourself a mentor. This person will help develop and guide you.
- Network. Trust me this is very important; you will need a support system.
- If you do not know the answer to something, don’t pretend you do. Ask someone who does (this is where your support system or mentor come in).
- Learn how to prioritize; the time management skills you learned in school will come in handy! Just because your plate is full does not mean that new issues won’t arise which you will have to deal with.
Even though you are not an expert yet, you will get there eventually, as long as you have the right attitude and are willing to learn. Trust what you know as well. All those years of studying weren’t for nothing. Be open to accept HR as an ongoing learning experience and you will do great!