My next move

I sympathise with your situation and it sounds like you are doing the right things as you are getting good feedback. However, with only six months’ experience in a specialist compensation and benefits (C&B) role, you will often find that you do not yet have enough experience for some other C&B roles. For many employers, experience is the prerequisite for many jobs, putting you in the classic Catch 22 situation.

In the short term, you could look to improve or add to your skills by attending courses in, for example, advanced Excel programming, and keeping up to date with current issues and trends in C&B.

To gain more experience, you should do as many of the following as possible:

  • Ensure you apply for as many appropriate roles as possible, paying careful attention to the requirements the employer is looking for.
  • Register with recruitment agencies that will take the time to meet you and get to understand you, your skills and requirements.
  • Make targeted direct approaches to carefully selected large organisations – that is, ones you would accept an offer of employment with and large enough to have a reasonably sized C&B team. These organisations are more likely to be able to take on someone with your level of experience and help you develop into a more senior role.
  • Build a network of professional contacts. You could ask previous managers for any contacts they have who are, or might know, C&B managers or directors who may be looking to replace someone or build their team.
  • Consider taking another HR admin role in a large organisation that has a C&B team, as you may, in time, be able to transfer internally.

If you have a question for our panel of experts about developing your career, send your question to

Mark Carriban, managing director, HR Recruitment Business


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