At the core of every business is HR; a champion of the modern-day professional. In rapidly expanding global industries, the human resources department must keep pace with new workplace practice, technology and high turnovers.
Getting the interview was the first step, now the real work begins. Working in a different environment and to a new standard should be viewed as a unique opportunity. Read on to learn more about navigating the world of HR in just a few steps!
Remember Your Studies!
Just because you’ve left the classroom behind doesn’t mean you should leave all of the key lessons behind too. Even junior HR positions will require a qualification and length of experience associated with industry study.
Whether you’ve studied a Diploma of HR or undertaken a formal degree, this environment is a crucial part of navigating your first job. Move on from textbook definitions and case studies, here you learn to network, organise and manage your time.
These are highly employable attributes that hold universal appeal to an employer and will guide you as you start this new and exciting life chapter.
Make Mistakes & Learn
HR is an industry the same as any other when it comes to human error. Mistakes are an essential aspect of professional growth. Errors give you the chance to become familiar with the expectations of your office and training systems in place.
Remember, you aren’t just a human resources professional - you’re a real person. And real people are allowed to make the occasional mistake. As a graduate, you should stop being frightened at the prospect of an error in judgement and see this as the opportunity to learn something new.
It’s always best to avoid mistakes if you can, but in the event that you do, respond professionally, learn and move on to make the best of a bad situation.
Always Try to Listen
As the new kid on the block, the only way you’re going to understand the dynamics of your colleagues and the broader office is to listen. Listening isn’t only about hearing what a person has to say, but also acknowledging and understanding.
This is a clear sign of respect and engagement. It goes without saying that observing the real industry firsthand will provide you with valuable insight into the world of human resources. Leaders of HR are often emotionally intelligent; they listen, understand and direct employees with ease.
Choose A Professional Mentor
Progressing in your career is a great feeling. This triumph is shared between you, your friends, family and mentors - the people who support you. The importance of a professional role model cannot be underestimated.
In sport, a player will look to their coach and in the workplace, you should be able to look to someone who has all of the qualities you admire. A positive influence in your professional career is a great support mechanism in your first job.
HR professionals are used to having other who rely on them, don’t forget you need help too. In selecting a mentor you can anchor your role in the business and set a clear work ethic standard to aspire to.
Familiarity is Your Top Priority
Try to remember the first name and role of your team members from the first day until your last. While no one can expect you to remember everyone at once, becoming familiar with your coworkers shows great initiative.
It is also critical to familiarise yourself with the business values, brand pillars and workplace culture of your new job. Researching, hiring, nurturing and retaining talent comes down to an understanding of where the business is and where it wants to go.
If a worker raises a question about a sensitive situation then you need to be confident enough to assist. As soon as you feel comfortable in your environment, you’ll be closer to demonstrating real leadership and genuine relationships based on trust and mutual respect.
Learn To Learn
This is perhaps the most fundamental lesson for every HR professional. Be open to learning and new ideas and approaches, this is the best way to develop your problem-solving skills. Many graduates believe that their days of research are over, but the workforce is all about adult learning.
Adult learning means always looking for a new approach and questioning what you know - even once your classroom days are behind you. As a graduate, you offer a unique opportunity to the current industry. Fresh out of school, bursting with innovation and a positive attitude give you a distinct edge over other applicants.
There is no better time than now to take the plunge, break into the industry and, with the right tools, become a leading HR professional.
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult learning. She has developed and authored many workplace leadership programs, both in Australia and overseas.
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