Move Your Career to the Next Level

By Dori Meinert Oct 12, 2015
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SAN ANTONIO—If you want to move up in your career, you need to learn to delegate. If you can’t let go of some of your day-to-day tasks, you’ll never find time to work on becoming a strategic partner to your business leaders.

“We are in a tug-of-war between employee needs and strategic expectations,” consultant Lori Kleiman, SHRM-SCP, told attendees at the Society for Human Resource Management’s Emerging LEAD(HR) Conference on Oct. 9, 2015.

Kleiman spent 30 years as an HR professional and currently is president of HR Topics in Glenview, Ill. She’s author of Taking Your Seat at the Table (CreateSpace, 2015).

She outlined the four-step process to move your HR career to the next level:

Create a strategy. Make a plan for your career. “It has to go far beyond the action plan your supervisor assigns you,” Kleiman said. Make appointments and talk your organizations’ leaders about why those decisions were made and why they’re important.

“Step up and be seen as the person who can align actions with what matters in your organization,” she said. Arrive early at meetings to get a prime seat.Come prepared and speak up. What do people see you do that adds to your success? If you make a mistake, admit it and let people know how you’re going to fix it.

Become tech-savvy. “We are dealing with more technology and data than we ever thought possible,” she said. Don’t just collect data, but analyze it. Search for solutions to any problems that are brought to light. Attend meetings with peers outside your organization.

Develop executive skills. About 20 percent of HR professionals work at the executive level, while 60 percent are highly skilled experts and 20 percent are entry-level positions, Kleiman said. One good way to bolster your credentials is to gain experience with a volunteer group, she said.

Be proactive. Business leaders don’t want you to wait until they tell you what to do, she said. Plan ahead. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. Stop letting other people control your time, she said. Minimize interruptions. Let people know what your strategic goals are. Post them in your office. Work smarter, not harder.

Dori Meinert is senior writer/editor for HR Magazine.

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