Membership is it worth keeping

Hello Everyone,

I am looking at renewing my CIPD Asssiocate Membership but I have struggled getting an HR role which I have tried since leaving university back in 2018. 

I have mostly worked in care and at the moment, my new role is Learning Support with young adults with learning disabilities. I am now thinking should I cancel my CIPD, I never imagined the difficulties establishing a career within HR - even HR assistant jobs ask for a few years experience. 

  • Hi welcome to the communities

    I think in the current climate and market place that this is a dilemma many members of professional bodies including the CIPD will be facing this renewal season. There is no easy answer - I am sure on Monday a member of the CIPD membership team will be along to highlight some of the many and very real benefits we have from membership.

    My own personal view is that it rather depends on if you think you are going to have opportunities to make use of those great benefits this year weighted against the cost (it a straight cost benefit analysis for me). Certainly being a member of the CIPD is unlikely to hurt you in your job search but as you have found its not the golden ticket either.

    If you want to stay current with HR thinking, continue your professional development and keep looking for that elusive first mainstream role then (if you can afford it) I would give it another year. But only if you do something with your membership and don't expect it to do something for you.

    Best of luck

  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    7 Jun, 2020 14:06

    Hi Rachel... and welcome.

    I think has done a better job than I could've done to respond to your question.

    I'd stress that this Community is just one of many member benefits, but ultimately it is up to every individual to decide.


  • Hi Rachel, and welcome to the Communities.

    I cannot add anything much to what Keith has already said. CIPD membership is certainly not a cheap commitment if you are not making use of it, however it does give you access to both the best and latest information on HR practice, and can be (not least through this Community) a source of support and practical guidance. It also establishes your credibility as an HR practitioner whenever that is needed; not just when applying for jobs.

    The issue of "how to get into HR" has been (and is currently being) discussed many times on this site and there are no easy answers, other then to say that neither academic qualifications, CIPD membership equivalent-levels, nor past work-history alone is enough; not least as many employers are still mystified by (not to say disinterested in) what HR qualifications really mean, so the most important thing when applying for HR jobs is to identify what the employer wants (or thinks they want) and suit your application to that task. (Honestly, of course; I am not suggesting you make anything up). Use your work, and life,-experiences, as well as your Membership, to tick the boxes they want ticked, rather then trying to simply display your abilities overall, levels of academic achievement, or membership, as automatic "pass-keys" to acceptance.

    Once you have your feet under the desk, THEN you can start showing how good you really are and what you and HR good-practice can really do to make their workplace more effective and productive....not least through being able to draw on the CIPD resources you are able to access (including all of us, here).

    In the role you hold now (somewhat similar to one I held supporting people with Learning Disabilities into "real" work roles in the days before even the Disability Discrimination Act became law), access to CIPD's libraries of information on equality issues, employment law in relation to disability, Health and Safety, and a hundred other associated learning and transition-to-employment or "in education" issues such as the rights to reasonable adjustments and access facilitation could be worth every penny of your membership fee; again, attached to some of the support and guidance to be found within this Community.

    So before making any final decisions, my advice would be to look further into what is actually on offer to you as a member, and then make your decision based on both what membership can do (or not do) for you now, and how it can add value to you (from an employer's perspective) if you still want to apply for "pure" HR roles.

    Whatever your choice; please accept my best wishes for your future career.


  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    8 Jun, 2020 07:23

    In reply to Peter:

    Thanks for this response, Peter.
  • Hi Rachel,

    For me it is a matter of how much you really want to be in HR.

    For me it took 5 years but since I had only CIPD Level 3 and Level 5 to demonstrate and no university degree (my BA is in English literature plus 10 years of teaching experience), being an associate member also helped. I finally got a Learning and Development role and my manager told me that she was looking only at CIPD qualified individuals.

    There are also a lot of resources, useful information to go through should you have the time and it helps with staying current with the profession, I have used a lot of ideas and knowledge from the CIPD website to persuade interviewers that I really have a passion for it.

    Since you are in a Learning Support role, it might be better aiming for Learning & Development, my impression is there are too many candidates with HR general studies but less with Learning & Development specialist studies, for example I am now trying to upskill myself for a learning technologist role, nowadays there is a lot of demand for that.

    I would also explore finding a mentor and networking opportunities via CIPD, this is something I haven't done yet but I was thinking that it might help since I would like to move on to a specialist role. I am so grateful that we have a community here where I am getting help and advice, this is really valuable and I couldn't thank the other members enough.

    I hope this helps!

    Have a lovely day,

  • HI,

    I remember posting on the forum about 4 years ago now, asking how to go about getting into HR as I also struggled.. I was a single parent studying level 3 with no experience and, with only wanting part time work, the odds seemed stacked well against me..

    I will say though, keep trying! You will find something eventually, even if you have to take on an office role with added HR admin work. Also, when I was studying I did some volunteer work in the HR dept of a local office. Is this something you could do? It would look good on your cv.

    Regarding the membership, if your actively still applying for HR roles and you can afford to keep it, then do. It will be really useful to have once you get your foot in somewhere, and in the mean time keep an eye on the forum as you learn a lot from it.

    Good Luck! :)
  • In reply to Becci Lloyd:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for your kind replies. I have decided to keep trying to source a HR role, I got a HR assistant job at university which was an internship for 5 months and I am sure with hard work and commitment I will succeed

    I did work extremely hard at my HR Degree and my poor children watched me go through hell some days. I guess a positive mind :) thank you everyone.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    24 Jun, 2020 10:02

    In reply to Rachel Brooks:

    Keep going, Rachel. We're right behind you!
  • It is not always easy to stay in HR either - I am being made redundant again soon, third time in 2 years and am devastated, but I will keep going forward and this is only a curve in the road. keep going, good things happen to people who don't give up.
  • In reply to Jules:

    Hi Jules,

    I'm sorry to here your being made redundant again, I really hope you find a new position - keep going :) be positive
  • In reply to Jules:

    So sorry to hear this Jules, but definitely agree - perseverance pays!
  • Hi Rachel
    It may be that your CV needs a look at. Many people do not know how to "sell" themselves in their CVs
    I am very happy to help with this - it is my way of giving back. Go to
    www.cullenscholefield.com/.../ and upload your CV
    As for renewing your membership please do it is worth so much.
    Have you looked here
    peopleprofession.cipd.org/learning 8 online learning programmes featuring the core behaviours of the new Profession Map.
    That is itself is worth the fee!
    Good luck
    Kind regards
  • In reply to Rachel Brooks:

    Just to update you Rachel, I have secured a new role today - its a 12 month Maternity Cover role, but it will again give me a different set of skills.
  • In reply to Seb:

    It has paid off - i've been offered a new role - using different skill sets, but still in HR. I think having an open mind also helps in using opportunities that come your way.
  • In reply to Jules:

    Very well done Jules. I'm really pleased for you. A different skill-set? Now you're just showing off! :-)