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5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started in HR

Human Resources in Black and Red letters

So you want to join HR? Good for you! You're about to enter a world of excitement, adventure, and drama. But before you do, let me tell you a few things that I wish someone had told me when I started out in this crazy profession.

1. The Power of Networking - You know how they say it's not what you know, but who you know? Well, that's especially true in HR. Networking is not just a nice-to-have skill, it's a must-have skill. You need to connect with other HR pros who can share their insights, tips, and tricks with you. And don't forget about the influencers who can help you stay ahead of the curve (see my previous article on how to follow them). Trust me, you don't want to be left behind in this fast-paced industry.

2. The Role of Soft Skills - You may think that HR is all about hard skills like payroll, benefits, and compliance. And sure, those are important too. But don't underestimate the power of soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. These are the skills that will help you build rapport with employees and clients, foster a positive work culture, and avoid lawsuits. And if you think you already have these skills mastered, think again. There's always room for improvement.

3. Understanding the Laws - Speaking of lawsuits, you better brush up on your labor laws and regulations if you want to survive in HR. Because let me tell you, they change faster than you can say FMLA. And if you don't keep up with them, you could end up in hot water with the authorities or worse, your boss. So do yourself a favor and subscribe to some newsletters or podcasts that can keep you informed on the latest legal updates and consider joining SHRM if you haven't already.

4. Technology is Your Friend - If you're still using spreadsheets and paper forms for your HR tasks, you need to get with the times. Technology is not only making HR easier, but also more fun. There are so many software and tools out there that can help you automate your processes, streamline your workflows, and enhance your productivity. And don't worry about being overwhelmed by all the options. Just start with the basics and work your way up.

5. The Importance of Data - Data is not just for nerds anymore. It's for HR pros too. Data is a powerful tool that can help you make better decisions, improve performance, and drive results. But data alone is not enough. You need to know how to analyze it, interpret it, and use it. And don't worry if you're not a math whiz. There are plenty of resources and courses that can help you learn the basics of data analytics.

Recap: So there you have it. Five things I didn't know before I joined HR, but I'm glad I do now. And trust me, there's a lot more to learn. But don't let that scare you. Let that motivate you. Because HR is not just a job, it's a journey, and it can make for a great career. Interested in HR, let's talk. I'd love to connect with you!


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