About the Author: Sandy Cropper brings over 19 years experience in Career Coaching, working both scroppersmallphotointernally in HR functions and externally in consulting roles.  She partners with those who are seeking to advance in their careers and achieve greater success, job satisfaction, and work/life balance.  Sandy is certified in various Career and Management assessments that form the foundation for targeted development.  She successfully changed careers four times and is uniquely qualified to guide others through this process.  Sandy served as Project Director for a six-state region providing Career Transition services to corporate clients in multiple industries.  She also served internally in Training and Staff Development functions.  Sandy’s education, experience, and certifications in Human Performance Improvement and Coaching provide an excellent background for helping clients align their personal and professional goals to achieve success.

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As HR professionals, we’re the ones who help others manage their careers and prepare for their future.  Yet, over 50% of us fail to do the same for ourselves!  What is the impact of this neglect?

A few years ago, Phyllis Hartman, fellow SHRM member from Pennsylvania, spoke as a panelist at a National Conference.  In her research and preparation, she discovered that there was a void of resources that specifically addressed the unique career challenges faced by HR professionals.  This inspired Phyllis to co-author a book entitled:  Never Get Lost Again:  Navigating Your HR Career.

One of the key points she makes is that the role of HR professionals is changing rapidly due to multiple factors:  technology, outsourcing, and the increasing opportunity for a ‘seat at the table’ to name a few.  Never in history have we had as much opportunity to make a difference.  But this will require continuous learning and development on our part.

There are many reasons we don’t take the initiative for ‘driving’ our own career.  One is that there never seems to be enough time since we’re so focused on taking care of others.  With budget cuts, there may not be resources for our professional development.  Yet, as we become so busy with current initiatives, we may miss the signs alerting us to possible elimination of our position or wake up one day and realize that we no longer find job satisfaction in what we’re doing.

The good news is that with all the changes, HR is even more vital for the success and growth of companies.  As the economy revives, we have many options and vital roles to play in building the workforce of tomorrow.  With widely dispersed employees and multiple generations in the workplace, HR will play a pivotal role in leading change.

Projections show that HR positions will grow 20+% by 2018, with above average compensation.  So it is up to each of us to decide what options best fit our talents and interests.  The changing roles will require new competencies as well.  So, now is the time to plan and prepare.

As members of SHRM, we have many resources available for our professional development.

The Consultants Forum offers programs focused on HR Strategies and opportunities to network and learn from one another.

The purpose of this Blog is to stimulate discussion and sharing of ideas and resources for effective HR Career Management.

I invite you to read my Blog on: Never Get Lost Again:  Navigating Your HR Career on my LinkedIn profile:

You’re also encouraged to post comments or answers to any of the following questions:

  • What trends do you see in changing roles for HR?  How has your position changed in the last year?
  • How do you decide what options are available as your next Career step?
  • What resources (books, journals, websites, etc) do you find most helpful in navigating your career and building the skills/knowledge required?