My next move

Q I’m HR manager of the trading arm of a government department that closed last year. The closure provided me with lots of experience in change management and I’m now working on a project to review our policy on secondments. My own post has been formally ‘at risk’ of redundancy since last February. I have applied for voluntary redundancy but have been rejected for being ‘re-deployable’. Should I sit it out and wait for the right job?

A Ultimately, your decision will involve some careful soul-searching. If you respect and enjoy working for your current employer, perhaps you should talk to the senior manage-ment to get commitment about the type of role you want to take on, and avoid inconsistent project work.

Alternatively, if you believe that the situation is likely to remain unchanged, you risk getting stuck in a rut. There are risks if you stay in this situation indefinitely:

If you do not feel your role is valuable to the organisation, and you’re not being recognised for the work you describe as ‘odd projects’, there is a risk you will lose confidence in your own ability. This will affect your performance at subsequent interviews and could prevent you finding a desirable new role.

You will lose touch with the day-to-day challenges of an operational HR role, such as employment law, commercial drivers and the working practices that are assimilated in the workplace, almost without noticing.

You need to stay positive and work on a revised CV that focuses on the new skills you have acquired as a result of the change management and secondments projects. These will be attractive skills to a potential employer, when combined with your broader operational HR skills.

Once your CV is prepared, draw up a target list of potential employers, perhaps from your network or who you have had dealings with in the past, those involved in similar work to your own government department or those who are undergoing significant change.

Interim work will expose you to new environ-ments, and your project skills will be attractive to employers searching for interim talent. You could consider additional training outside your work environment while in your current role. Taking the initiative to learn a new skill or to update yourself in an area that will be relevant will certainly improve your ‘marketability’.

Most employers will value your choice to be proactive in developing your career, broadening your ‘HR toolkit’ rather than remaining reactive to your current situation.

By Lynne Hardman, managing director, Hays Human Resources

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