Job Title: Senior Human Resource Representative
Type of Company: I work in the Human Resources department of a book manufacturing plant that employs about 285 people.
Education: AS, Business Administration, Middlesex Community College BS, Business Management, Northeastern University
Previous Experience: I knew I wanted to work in human resources and knew it was hard to break into it without any experience. I decided to get a payroll job and then move into an HR position. I worked for a payroll company for six months then got a job doing payroll and HR for a small medical laboratory.
Job Tasks: Working in human resources means you deal with many different employees at all levels of the organization with all different education levels. You deal with many different issues: hiring, employee relations, terminations and employee benefits. Lots of the things are very sensitive to employees and it takes good communication, including listening, skills to be able to address the situation at hand appropriately. Attention to detail is huge as everything you work on directly affects the employee, whether it has to do with pay, health insurance or vacation time. You need to be flexible too. You may have written a to-do list before leaving the previous day, but when you come in you find three people waiting at your door who need immediate attention, and you need to be able to juggle their demands and not get hung up on the thought of all the stuff you'd planned to do. Prioritizing is critical.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to help a person.
The worst is people expecting more than they deserve. They are paid for a job; yo, do it well and you are going to be rewarded. But many don't want to pay their dues and work hard. They want the benefits right away.
1. Become certified through the HR Certification Institute.
2. Read, read, read to learn about laws. They are always changing.
3. Don't expect to come in at a high-level job with no experience. Work your way up in an HR department. Build a solid foundation of knowledge. Don't be in a rush. Take steps in your career when you are ready and have obtained the knowledge you need for the next step in HR.
Additional Thoughts: The most important personal qualities for success in HR are excellent organizational skills, the ability to communicate clearly, the ability to prioritize work and be self-directed in your work.
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