I worked for two years in a personnel department in the 1990s, but since then I’ve been teaching HRM to under-graduates and postgraduates. What are the chances of moving into a generalist or training role, given that I’m ‘of a certain age’ and don’t have experience as a generalist? I am a Chartered MCIPD.
The emergence of business partners and HR consultants shows how the HR manager’s role has changed over the past decade, as organisations increasingly demand that the HR function adds measurable, financial benefits to a business.
HR strategy goes hand-in-hand with business strategy, and HR professionals are expected to demonstrate strong financial and commercial understanding, as well as their technical HR knowledge.
In some businesses the training function is separate to HR, while in smaller organisations it is often combined. Whatever the structure, training professionals need to understand the business challenges to conduct effective training needs analyses and develop or select appropriate training solutions.
Think laterally about your experience to date, the knowledge you have gained and the value of your MCIPD qualification. Consider the following:
Present your CV in a competency format, avoiding a chronological history, to draw attention to your HR skills and experience.
Emphasise your technical strengths, your awareness of trends and ‘best practice’ thinking and understanding of current and proposed employment legislation.
Consider how you could offer solutions to employee challenges facing many companies.
Tap into your CIPD network, offer your services as a freelance consultant, be available to speak at an event – establish your credentials among your peers as they may be able to support you in your move.
Don’t forget your network of postgraduate students. Some of these will be working in recruitment roles and could recommend you for positions within their own organisations.
Perhaps the most logical transition would be via a training role, taking advantage of your teaching skills and technical knowledge. Interim or temporary contracts would allow you to put your skills to the test in a range of industry sectors.
Finally, don’t let being ‘of a certain age’ put you off. Maturity and life experience can be invaluable to employers. Just ensure you demonstrate your energy and enthusiasm for a role at interview.
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