Changing career into HR!

Hi Everyone,

I am considering changing career into HR. It's something I have been considering for some years but haven't taken the leap!

My background is in Client management, internal audit and financial professional services and I currently work for one of the Big 4 accountancy firms as a senior on project work with external Clients (banks). 

Despite always being academic I haven't got any qualifications above A level, I was accepted into university but at the time my circumstances wouldn't support me going to uni so I started working and now have 8-10 years of experience (some management) across various roles across a number of industries including energy/logistics and finance. I know I have skills that are easily transferable into HR but I am looking for that first step into a role which would support a career move. 

Although I have had a successful working career so far and always earnt well, I have found that my attitude is changing towards wanting more of a defined career path with  improved job satisfaction and what attracts me to HR is the versatility of the roles, the fact I could be an integral part of helping define a business culture and help develop and support a workforce to be the best that it can be.

Having been a line manager for a few years and having to support my team through redundancy and re-stucture alongside other ER issues, I have always worked closely with HR Business partners and dealt with ER cases particularly around learning and development, disciplinaries and absence management etc. I have always found it so interesting and have really enjoyed this element of my role. So much so, I would love to move my career in the direction of HR.

My circumstances have recently changed and I am in a position to take a step back in some respects and I would love to get a HR administration role, however I am concerned that 1. I do not hold a CIPD qualification (albeit I am willing to study towards one or self fund one) 2. I feel like most companies would perhaps not consider me because of my previous work experience. 

I have considered doing a CIPD independently, but I would like to move into a HR Admin role so I can gain the experience within HR that I need and also apply my learning to the role I am in. 

I guess I'm just looking for advice on how to pitch myself appropriately so I don't get discounted from HR Admin roles also would you recommend self funded study or to look for a company that might support this? 

Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Victoria, starting on a CIPD programme will show employers that you are serious about a career in HR (as well as all the new skills!). What you learn on the course will give you more to talk about in applications and at interview - you will be able to pull on your existing experience but frame it within the context of HR. Plus if you decide to go for classroom learning you will meet loads of people who are already working in HR and will be invaluable in getting that first post.

    If you're not having much luck with finding a job maybe look at self-funding the qualification - you might find that once you've got the job they will be willing to help with your fees.

    Good luck!
  • Please do a search for this. There are dozens of threads with similar questions from people in similar situations that will save us from repeating ourselves.
  • Welcome to the communities and the profession Victoria. I think the single best bit oi advice I can give you is talk to your Manager or your HR team and try and get some work experience on projects in your current firm. It will be by far the best route into HR for you.

    After that you can get qualifications (but be wary of being over qualified and under experienced)
  • Hi Victoria, I would agree with Keith (above) that getting some experience within your current organisation may be the best first step because even with qualifications it can be incredibly hard to find a first HR role without experience.
    Alternatively, take a look at apprenticeship roles being advertised - this could offer you the route to qualification alongside the experience.
    Good luck