Should I take a FTC at a start-up to gain more responsibility?

I've been working in HR for 6 years and completed CIPD Level 3. I currently work in as an HR Office in a property developer. UK office is 45 people although we have a head office in Asia which is much bigger. I only deal with the UK side of HR but the head office micro-manages and I have very little power or responsibility. Even the tiniest details of my work is checked and there are only two of us in the department, so my very experienced manager does most of the decision-making that we're allowed to make.

My friend is running a start up (it's a few years in, doing well, employs 10 people) and has offered me a job setting up the HR department, policies/procedures and managing some projects (moving payroll to outsourced provider etc). It would be a fixed term contract for six months to help them set up and see how it goes, and then I can leave or branch out if I want.

It will give me the chance to start everything from scratch, make decisions and have lots of responsibility (with guidance) and a very varied role, but I'm not sure whether it will be a step forward or a step back in my HR career. My current job 'sounds' better in terms of HR, but at least half of it is office administration and very boring, and the HR that I do is very regulated. Plus, it's only 6 months.

Any advice? 

  • I do not know your circumstances and need for financial stability but I would grab the opportunity, albeit I would try to get a better understanding of how it would work, working for a friend before handing in my notice.
  • Welcome to the communities.

    Taking a FTC role with another organisation can be a fantastic way to gain knowledge and experience. Or it can be a cul de sac that’s hard to explain if you want to step back into a more traditional role.

    The concern I would have with this role is that at ten staff do they really need a hr person at all? Whilst it looks attractive be sure there is actually enough work there for you to do. I would be surprised if there is.

    Be clear on what options you think you will have after. Your narrative going from a small organisation with two HR bods to a tiny one maybe hard to explain.

    So only you can decide. But there are some big question marks here for me.
  • Hi Hannah

    I too am micromanaged and scared to look at an FTC, but it sounds like a fantastic opportunity and it would add depth to your skills & CV.

    Do it!! :)
  • Hi Hannah,

    Echoing the other comments that only you will be able to decide - but it sounds like you might feel like you have outgrown your current role, and instead of taking such a drastic jump to the unknown perhaps you could start looking at more similar roles in larger or different sector organisations instead. With only 10 employees 'setting up a HR department' might not be particularly fulfilling. Other option is could you ask for flexible working to reduce your hours for 6 months and take on the other role on the side 1 day per week - giving you some experience but retaining the security - you could try to sell it to your current organization as an L&D opportunity...

  • In reply to Fiona Lockhart:

    Well said Fiona.

    Excellent guidelines you've provided for Hannah to be able to make an informed decision wherein all stake holders (Hannah, her friend's start-up and her current firm) have a greater propensity to emerge as winners.