Recently, MBL and the Post’d People Group co-hosted a panel on “Strategies for People Leaders to Level-Up” and were joined by three experienced HR professionals who have each taken different paths to advance their careers. Below we provide key insights from the discussion.
Whether you’re an established people leader, pivoting from another career or pursuing a role in HR for the first time, knowing what professional development path to follow can be challenging and at times just daunting. HR professionals are often responsible for developing executive leadership strategies and their own personal goals may fall by the wayside. To reach your career goals you must put a plan in place to attain both professional and personal milestones.
Pearls of Professional Wisdom
Below are some of the actionable steps shared by our panelists to help advance your career, no matter what stage. These insights are provided by:
- Thalia Charles, President, HCM Club, Columbia University
- Vanessa Pean, Senior HR Director, UMG and Cornell HRM Graduate
- Joy Young, VP People, AiCure and Rutgers MBA Graduate
Importance of Mentorship – Find mentors at all stages of your career, don’t just align with HR professionals, expose yourself to all facets of business.
- Understand your ask and be ready to pitch yourself
- Have a goal for the mentorship – know who you are, where you want to go
- Learn more about your mentor – answer why you want to talk to this person
- Start small – ask for 15 minutes to get your foot in the door with the professional you are seeking guidance from
Educational Opportunities – Degrees can be very expensive, explore certificate programs and other training opportunities to level up your knowledge.
- Know the basics of all HR functions
- Expand education beyond HR and know more about other subjects
- Finance and legal are key to being a better HR professional
- General business
- Organizational Behavior
Identify the Right Culture – Try to understand the right work environment for your optimal performance.
- Do you favor a collaborative or siloed environment?
- Are you preferential to team building or staunch corporate set-ups.
- Keep in mind culture is at times industry specific – eg – startup vs. non-profit, but not always.
Own your own narrative – ALWAYS market yourself. Ask for the opportunities (vs. waiting for them to come to you, they may never)
Fail forward – we often learn the most from our misses but as long as you try your hardest and learn from every situation, it’s a win.
Last Thoughts from the Panelists on Building a Successful HR Career:
- Thalia Charles, HR Consultant & President HCM Club, Columbia University
- Own it! Always explore new things and keep learning.
- Vanessa Pean, Senior HR Director, UMG:
- Show up every day – and keep growing your career, look for projects to fill the voids in your organization.
- Learn, be challenged and stay engaged.
- Joy Young, VP People, AiCure:
- Be comfortable with change – change is constant.
To watch the entire panel discussion click here. (cases sensitive password – Postd111020!)