I recently restarted employment following a two-month career break. I left
my previous job due to my lack of work-life balance and a disillusionment with
my admin intensive HR role. I took the break to think things over and decided I
wanted to continue in HR. But those same feelings of disillusionment are
already creeping into my new job. I don’t know what to do next – I have a
career history of short spells of employment (2-3 years per job) and seem to be
lurching from one job to another. I am unhappy but don’t want to jeopardise
Warren Green, director, EJ Human Resources
If you can work through the feelings of disillusionment, then there are
obvious advantages for staying at least 18 months. If, however, you are deeply
unhappy, then you are better advised to seek a new role elsewhere irrespective
of how it may look on your CV. There is no way of knowing how it will fully
impact in the future, because it will depend on market conditions. I see no
benefit of remaining in a role if you really dislike it.
If you are convinced HR is the career for you, you might want to review the
criteria you use when choosing a new employer, because to find yourself in the
same situation as before could mean you are not assessing the position as
effectively as you might.
Clive Sussams, recruitment consultant, Malpas Flexible Learning
It would be very useful to know whether there are any other reasons for your
disillusionment, as the brief points you refer to in your question have often
been made to me by other HR specialists, particularly at administrative and
more junior levels. Have you been frustrated by the lack of promotion
prospects, or regularly overlooked in the past when opportunities have arisen?
Does your personality create the wrong impression about enthusiasm and
While employers do look for people who have obtained as much experience as
possible by making several job moves during their career, it is also important
that those moves have been made for sound reasons.
I would suggest you study for CIPD membership if you have not already done
so. Maybe you should look at other posts including training co-ordination,
which could build on your current skills as well as giving you new interest.
Anna Cook, consultant, Chiumento
Good career planning is about making informed choices. Just as important as
matching your skills to the job are the values and culture of the companies you
apply to and your own work preferences. You appear to want more challenging
work in an organisation where HR is perceived as important.
One way of gauging how the HR function is valued in a company is by getting
the answer to such questions as: "Is there is an HR person on the main
board?" and "What weight does HR carry in the recruitment
process?" At the interview ask about the history of the role you are
applying for. A pattern of short-term tenure is a danger sign, unless it is a
stepping stone for promotion within that organisation.
If good reasons for your job moves later prove unfounded, then it may be you
need someone to challenge your reasoning. Speak to colleagues and people you
like and respect to get feedback on your strengths. Relate these to the kinds
of positions you can realistically apply for and decide whether you need to
improve them by further training or obtaining specific experience.
The importance of the above is that frequent moves often mean taking jobs
with lower skills which are valued less, so this cycle you have got into is
self-perpetuating. You need to break out of it.