Where to go next...


I am currently working as an HR Administrator in a global company and have just finished my Level 3 CIPD HR qualification. I have been looking at starting my level 5 qualification but am now unsure if HR is the right course for me and whether there are other qualifications I could investigate. 

In my previous company I also worked as an HR Administrator but the role/company/culture was very different. I had the opportunity to be very hands on with the staff, there were a lot of people coming to speak to me for advice or voice their concerns and opinions on varying subjects that effected staff. I really enjoyed the role as I got to know the individuals, helped them with their personal development and was given the freedom to put in place well being initiatives for staff. My new role, however, is very different. There is no or hardly any interaction with staff, HR and management are very driven by policy and admin. 

I miss the interaction with staff and am wondering where I can go from here. What specialist roles, if any, are there in HR that I can look into or work towards that would suit me? Or is it just a culture difference between organisations that I need to learn to deal with as I gain experience?

I would be interested to hear peoples views on this and if anyone has any ideas about what career options I could look into. 



  • I think, generally speaking, smaller teams/businesses have a lot more hands-on time with staff so that may well be causing the difference you've experienced. But it does ultimately depend on that business' culture and view on what HR does. Maybe something like a HR Business Partner has more interaction again in your organisation?
  • I think the honest answer to this is that you are not in the wrong career, but in the wrong job!

    Partly because HR is not a regulated profession, so practices can vary widely under different managements (HR and overall) and partly because people working in different workplaces have different needs for training, support, policy focus and procedures, both HR's position and status within Companies' organisation and the roles it fulfils practically can vary widely, but what jumps off the page at me from your question is how much you enjoyed the interface with people at work, and that, at this early stage in your learning process, is (to me) a significant reason to progress further, even if that means looking for a more enlightened and people-focussed employer.

    You have found a role you enjoy and (while working in the way you describe) found rewarding and fulfilling; what more can anyone want? Go for it!

    ("Work", believe it or not, can be enjoyable, even fun; why do you think I'm here, at home, still discussing issues about our profession, seven years after I formally retired, along with several others of our colleagues here on site who could have been happily "out to grass" years ago?).

    Something to think about: The "Human Resource" we aim to manage and control is not really people! It is the productive effort those people deliver to the employer's objectives. (Functional Line Managers manage "their" people). What we do is guide and support "How" people are managed, and the better they are managed, the more effort they are willing to offer-up. So our organising workplaces so that they are clean, supportive, hazard and threat-free, responsive to needs for flexibility, and well-disciplined actually makes them more productive.

    That's what we (should) do. ...and that is what you, at your early stage of learning, have enjoyed doing: So keep learning, keep studying, and look for a better place to put that learning into action, then ENJOY!

    There are tough bits; there are hateful bits; there are times you will be frustrated, and angry, and even hurt by the things you will need to work on or around and some people you will have to deal with. There are times it feels like walking a tightrope, and others it feels like crawling through quicksand, but the better we get at it, the fewer they become and the greater the number of times we pull the rabbit out of the hat that no-one thought could be done and we made look easy.

    So don't give up your new Profession, just find a better place to practice it.

    Talk to people in your local branch, network with colleagues, and keep your eyes open for opportunities: It's not always easy to find the right place, but they are out there. Honest :-)


  • ....and Welcome to the "Community"
  • In reply to Peter:

    Thank you very much - reading this has given me a real boost! :) I will keep learning and moving forward.
  • In reply to Ann-Marie:

    I'm very pleased :-) Let us know how you progress and keep using the Community for support; that's what we're here for.