A profession fit for the future

The people profession covers a broad spectrum of jobs, specialisms and careers spanning every industry. Take a look to see whether it's the right profession for you.

A truly rewarding career

A career in HR, L&D or OD&D (which we collectively refer to as the ‘people profession’) is about creating successful organisations through people - making sure you've got the right people, with the right skills in the right roles. We can make a real difference to the lives of employees by creating roles, opportunities, organisations and environments that get the best out of them.

Research we’ve conducted with our members tells us that most people professionals derive a strong sense of purpose from their work and believe the profession offers them a meaningful career. We've pulled together some essential information to help you decide whether this career is right for you.

My overriding motivation is the one that originally attracted me to HR – namely, helping people to have a better experience at work.

Paul Deemer

Head of Diversity and Inclusion at NHS Employers

There is a real sense of achievement when someone is appointed to a hard to fill post, or when you see your vacancy rate reduce! Knowing that the work my team and I do really does make a difference to the quality of patient care is our main motivator.

Keeley Cooper

Head of Resourcing within the NHS

I love helping people, so knowing that I can come every day and help people, even if it’s with something outside of the workplace, is amazing.

Gina Keohane

HR Adviser at Ubisoft Leamington

A day in the life of Director of People and OD at CIPD

Want to find out what it's like working in the people profession? Brad Taylor, Director of People and OD at CIPD, discusses in the video below what his role involves, the challenges he faces and the advice he has for anyone looking to enter the profession.

Brad began his career working in retail banking, where he spent 10 years working his way up the banking network. He was given the opportunity to get involved in a people change project which peaked his interest in HR. This led him to successfully apply for a HR Advisor position within the bank he was working in. He studied for a CIPD qualification and began his career path into HR.

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What you need to know about the people profession

Career guidance

Information and guidance to help you excel in your role, transition into the profession, and manage a career break

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