We believe your HR career is full of potential and possibility. In fact, the ‘Bayt.com Career Development in the Middle East and North Africa’ survey, January 2016, shows that career development plays a key role in the lives of 85% of respondents, but only 1 in 5 employees are very satisfied with their career development in their current company.
Although there’s no single career development path that is right for everyone, we have identified a few ways to move along your career in human resources, in spite of the many bumps on the road. A proactive approach to long-term goals is certainly the most critical element of your professional growth and advancement, but these little actions can have an impact on your career that is definitely going to surprise you.
1. Go “back to school”
HR is continuously evolving and assuming new forms to meet business needs, requirements and ever-changing laws. To stay on top of the latest developments, consider investing in your education advancement through certifications, training or even academic degrees. As in every other field, development comes with learning – which means the higher education you have, the easiest it is to stand out and make a difference in your career. Among the various resources available, Bayt Learning platform helps you find out about courses, conferences, seminars, and continuing education programs offered by the best learning providers in the Middle East.
2. Step out of your comfort zone
Feeling comfortable with your job role and reluctant to stretch yourself by moving to another one is the prelude to a stuck-in-routine situation it might be very hard to get out from. It may sound easier said and done, but overcoming the initial fear of making a change and taking on a new challenge is a fundamental step towards career improvement and personal innovation. You don’t necessarily need to do that all at once, but taking small simple steps every day is a good start. If you’re a specialist, move into a generalist role supporting a specific client group to widen your horizons. And vice versa, if you’re an HR generalist, you can accept a specialist assignment in an area like compensation and benefits or employee relations to narrow your focus and deepen your knowledge.
3. Leverage your network
Professional relationships are crucial for many reasons, but mainly because it’s our network that we all turn to every time we are looking for an advice, isn’t? Also, nicely-developed professional network can be an invaluable source of insights and inspiration for evaluating problems and opportunities. In any case, learning from different perspectives is a great way to stay ahead of the curve of the human resources industry and can give you the competitive advantage you were waiting for to move your career forward.
4. Mentor and get mentored
‘Learning in the Workplace in the MENA’ poll, March 2015, 98% of professionals say that working in an organization that provides learning, training and mentoring opportunities is very useful. Mentoring is the process of using specially selected and trained individuals to provide guidance and advice which will help other individuals hone their existing skills and acquire new ones. While you already know that you can empower your employees by pursuing the role of coach and mentor, you may be surprised to learn that mentoring is a great way also to advance your career too. The benefits of being mentored are countless, ranging from enhancing communication skills and developing leadership skills to building a valuable network and gaining new perspectives on your career and life. So if your company doesn’t have a mentoring program yet, consider starting one to learn from others’ experience and advance your career.
5. Immerse yourself in an overseas assignment
In today’s global economy, a CV in human resources with an international flair represents a winning asset. Well, expanding your HR experience by relocating out of your own country and accepting an international assignment is also a major life move. However, such an experience will differentiate you from the rest of your peers, opening up unforeseen positive effects and unrivaled opportunities to take your career to an entirely new level – which makes it definitely worth a try. Just bear in mind that it is much easier to travel abroad in an early stage of your career than it would be later on, when you are more likely to settle down and commit to starting a family.
6. Set up your own blog
Today, being part of the conversation is of paramount importance when it comes to reaching higher levels in both your professional and individual life. So what can you do to make your voice being heard and spread the word on topics and issues you attach great importance to? The world of blogging has created an ideal space for people like you who want to become a role model and empower a target audience with ad hoc tips and insights. Here, you can join the conversation and bring new perspectives to the table, nurture your leadership knowledge and motivate your surroundings. If you don’t know what to start with, you can draw a lot of inspiration from a number of blogs generating day-to-day quality content – such as the Employer’s Corner section of Bayt.com blog, where you will find valuable insights for top employers like you and tailor-made guides to excelling at work.
7. Become a public speaking pro
Public speaking matters now than ever. Whether your professional path is real estate in Saudi Arabia or advertising in the UAE, you should make sure to be able to release a speech and hold a presentation in public in any potential scenario. Of course, mastering the art of public speaking doesn’t come without efforts, as it is about more than words and requires a great deal of self-control and self-assurance – with a lot of practice in between. But, as always, rewards will follow hard work: if you learn how to use truly effective communication, you’ll better connect with your audience and feel empowered enough to take the big leap.
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