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Why choose a career in HR or L&D?

When employees retire or move on, you will ensure that valuable information is captured before they leave

A career in human resources or its most important offshoot, learning and development, can be a wise choice for a number of reasons.

It is great for sector hopping

Are you unsure whether you want to work in finance, engineering, the media or the charity sector? With skills in HR, you can work in any of these. They all need to follow the same employment laws and recruit and train people in a similar way, which means you have the ultimate set of transferable skills for testing out life in different sectors without having to restart your career.

You get a clear career structure

While most people will begin as HR administrators, there is a huge range of areas to specialise in. You could become involved with staff training and personal development, assist with recruitment and staff appraisals, or specialise in managing staff rewards and other retention activities. Eventually, your career path might lead to you becoming an HR director, which is a critical role in any organisation, or even starting your own specialist company.

It is perfect if you are a people person

As you are looking after people, no two days are ever the same. Everyone you look after will be an individual, with their own needs, desires and drives. With younger staff increasingly looking for benefits beyond additional money, HR staff are key in ensuring a company understands the needs of its employees – and potential employees – and works to enable them.

This is a great role for people who care about others. You do not have to be an extrovert; however, the ability to be discrete and not discuss confidential information is a must.

You will get to understand the employee lifecycle

A career in HR means you will be constantly interacting with other people’s careers at different stages. One day you will be helping to recruit and onboard everyone from the new junior assistant to the next senior vice-president; the next you will be developing training programmes to ensure employees have the skills they need.

You will also be working on employee retention, ensuring that they can easily access information on everything from a season ticket loan to maternity leave. You will be listening to them through staff satisfaction surveys and other tools. When employees retire or move on, you will ensure that valuable information is captured before they leave.

You will be well reimbursed

As staff are a very valuable asset, it also makes sense to retain the people who look after them. While the average salary for those starting out is between £15,000 and £18,000, this rises significantly as you progress, with managers averaging around £46,000 a year and HR directors over £80,000.

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