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What’s the best HR career advice you ever received?

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John Wilcox

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

In a few weeks, hundreds of college graduates will hit the streets looking for jobs in HR. You were once in their shoes, but now you’re older and wiser—maybe thanks to advice from experienced HR mentors. What tips did they give you to help your HR career? What advice would you offer to young people eager to start an HR career?—The HR Specialist Editors

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

employment testing August 10, 2011 at 7:04 am

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Lorweb April 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

Always make your bosses and managers look good! Make certain your full attention is with the person sitting before you. Keep above the “fringe” and put “skid chains” on your tounge–hold confidentiality precious. Don’t take anything too personal — it is not a popularity contest. Guide, coach and teach line managers good HR principles. Talk plainly – noone but us understands HR-ese!


Kaylynn April 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Document, document, document! Keep notes of all your conversations – you never know when you might need to refer to those notes later on! I keep a notebook and make notes for each day regarding my phone conversations and sometimes conversations held in my office with employees and/or managers. All my discussions are kept in this notebook unless it is a conversation related to an investigation. Those notes I keep in a separate folder within the employee file if necessary. I have literally gone back two to three years and pulled my notes!


LynS April 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm

You are never too young to start mentoring a less experienced colleague. Share your knowledge willingly. To find out how well you know something, teach it to another. Never be the only person who knows how to do what you do. If you can’t be replaced, how can you be promoted?


Scott H April 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

The secret of success is not laying awake at night worrying about your problems. The secret of success is to hire people who will lay awake at night worrying about your problems.


Wayne April 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Keep your resume updated!


Jen D. April 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm

As much as you will need to focus on HR minutia as you get your career off the ground, make sure you take the time to learn about business in general. Lets face it, the managers and executive that count on you do not care at all about HR. They DO care about running their functions. Learn to speak their language and know their issues and they will respect you and your expertise, because they will know you have it covered.


Ismael Tabije April 23, 2011 at 4:13 am

Whatever your job is, put your heart into it. Passion is the most important factor in success. Experience can be learned. You don’t need a top brain to do well. How many middle and top executives are summa or magna *** laudes. Very few.

But those who have reached the zenith all have one thing in common–passion that drives them to excel.


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