Advice on what to do next?

Hi all,

I'm looking for some career advice. I currently work as a part time HR assistant. I passed my Level 3 certificate in Human Resources last year and am currently studying the Level 5 Certificate in HR Management. I'm very keen to move on to become a HR Advisor/Officer but am struggling to get any further. I have a young child so for the time being I am only prepared to work part time (school hours, if possible) which already puts me at a disadvantage when applying as local part time advisor roles seem to be hard to come by. My current organisation has already made it clear right from the get go that my role isn't one I will be able to progress with while there.

I look on recruitment sites often and I send my CV out when I do find appropriate jobs but I don't seem to be able to get to interview stage. I wonder if there's anything I'm doing wrong or is anyone able to offer me any advice? I work hard and I'm really keen to progress and learn a lot more as I no longer feel I'm learning much or being challenged in my current role.

Many thanks for any advice you can offer. 

  • In reply to Becci Lloyd:

    Many smaller companies need a hr person, but outsource due to their size. What's the harm in approaching companies of 40-75 staff and outlining what you can do on a part-time basis. Good luck
  • In reply to Colin Coole:

    Hi. This is actually the kind of role I would love to take on next. A standalone position in a small company. I don't like the idea of joining a larger HR team, I think I want more of a challenge than that. This is a great idea though, I actually live on the edge of a large industrial area with many businesses. I'm wondering what would be the best way to go about approaching them to put this to them?
  • Hi Becci
    I understand your difficulties. I was looking for part-time work too but due to elder care responsibilities. You are probably better looking at Public Sector roles as these more often available on a part-time basis. If you see a job advertised ring up and discuss with the recruiter your situation. Its better to understand what is required from the start so it prevents both you and the employer wasting time on an application that cannot be fulfilled.
    Good luck - Ive just started a 3 day a week post in manufacturing so there are jobs out there

  • Hi Becci

    I suppose there are really two things to address - the desire to advance your career, and the need to find an employer who can accommodate some form of flexibility. I think a previous response detailed that it is always easier to work your way into a part time role with a current employer, but if that avenue is not available then the main priority could be to maximise your potential attractiveness to a new employer. Given that roles are 'hard to come by' - but exist - then you could really focus on your own development and what you can offer to a new employer, so that when opportunities arise you are at the head of the pile. I am not one to give career advice, but the most attractive CVs I see are based on projects delivered and business improvements - I appreciate that it may be difficult to find suitable projects or get the authority to do them, but I am sure others here can suggest things you could do within the scope of your current role. I also agree that the public sector is a great avenue for flexibility of employment. Its always worth developing a relationship with the recruiters rather than just sending a CV - they can and do offer CV advice, and if they know your skills and competence will consider you for roles that may not even make the advert stage. Its tough to make all of this work, and I am sure you are not doing anything wrong.
  • In reply to Becci Lloyd:

    Don't give up Becci. I am at the other end of my career and found it just as frustrating to find part time hours to accommodate a degree. I think that the charity sector tend to be more flexible. I found my role on charity jobs so maybe look there. Equally charities look for interns too.
  • Hi Becci,

    Hope you don't mind me jumping on your thread here, but I'm also a HR Administrator (full time) and just passed my L3. I've got an unconditional offer to study L5 but am slightly concerned I might be out of my depths considering I'm only admin level at the mo. How are you finding it?

    Wishing you the best in your job search!
  • In reply to Joni:

    Hi Joni, Its not too bad actually. I have no experience past HR Admin and a couple of the girls have never worked in HR at all. All the work needed for the assignments is in the classroom based sessions so as long as you take good notes and try to get the most out of the sessions you will be absolutely fine :-)

    Thank you all for of all your other advice, I've tried to take it all on board. I have written to a few businesses in my area and requested to be kept in mind if anything comes up. I actually applied to an ideal role I would have loved at Figleaves in Welwyn. At the end of my application I wrote that I'm looking for part time and I hoped they would consider this but unfortunately I haven't heard back. I will forever be wondering whether it was because of that or not. I've picked up some good part time/charity websites from your feedback though so I shall add them to my daily check list and keep applying!
  • Hi Becci
    I have been very lucky to be able to work part time when my family were younger, but appreciate part time roles are very few and far between. As a profession, we need to practise what we preach and understand the benefits of part time / flexible working!
    From my experience the NHS are very open to part time working and offer a really good grounding and training in HR (my husband is an HR Director in the NHS but sorry, not in your area). Maybe start by doing some volunteer work to get some experience in the sector as an introduction and go from there.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    3 Aug, 2017 11:45

    In reply to Jane Wilkinson:

    Jane Wilkinson said:

    "As a profession, we need to practise what we preach and understand the benefits of part time / flexible working!"

    Welcome to the Community, Jane... and I agree 100%. 

    I've uncovered a good story coming out of Aviva this week... but can't say anything as they want to make a thing of it themselves. We need more high profile role models.

  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    I agree Steve - role models are valuable - but only if HR specialists use them as case studies to champion the greater availability of flexible working in their own organisations.
  • In reply to Becci Lloyd:

    Just to jump in regarding Figleaves at Welwyn- a friend of mine has just been made redundant from there, so it might be that perhaps they're looking for more experienced people because of the organisational change going on. I'm in a job that was full-time and requested to drop a day, which they let me do. Now I'm thinking of moving on, it is a concern about being able to do a similar work pattern.
  • In reply to Shireen Wickham:

    Hi Shireen

    First of all, target the recruitment agencies focusing on flexible jobs (as I said earlier there's a list of 35 on my twitter profile here: twitter.com/.../members)

    Secondly, as you're already working a four day week you have evidence you can make it work. Think about the specific additional skills you've achieved to do that and consider how you might apply these to a potential new role. That way you'll be able to give evidence based answers when discussing possibilities with new employers.

    Good luck!
  • Hi Becci , kinda of coming late to the party here...but hope things turned out ok for you
    I would also recommend https://www.workingmums.co.uk/ as somewhere to look, and if your interested in sales jobs check out https://www.salesroles.com
  • Hi all,
    I just wanted to post an update on this. In January 2018 I was promoted within the company where I was to HR Officer and given more hours (still part time). and as of 3 months ago I moved on to a HR Advisor role (also part time) at a charity working the hours that I chose to fit around my life.

    It proves there are roles out there that can be flexible. I'm loving HR and my next goal is to be a HR Manager!! ;)
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    16 Aug, 2019 16:53

    In reply to Becci Lloyd:

    Thanks for the update, Becci. Nice one!