Three steps to career success Fiona Brady, director, HR consultancy HRHR

Not sure where you are at with your career? HR career coach Fiona Brady
offers some tips

Step one

Assess where you are at and identify some options for going forward. Some
options are:

1 Stay in your current role, learn new skills and promote yourself to the
next level rather than taking a sideways move

2 Depending on your experience, consider an interim contract. Make sure you
choose carefully as you might not want to end up in a ‘firefighting’ role or
one that is too prescriptive. Senior managers may find this a good time to land
an interim contract, as there are lots of corporate restructures currently
taking place

3 Consultancy may be worth a look. With a bit of networking, you could do
well with two or three clients plus an associate role. The Chartered Institute
of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Specialist Interest Group networks or
Business Link are good places to start

4 Take a sideways move with the aim of working in another industry, location
or more high-profile organisation

5 Take the most popular option of staying in the same industry sector and
moving for a better job and more money.

Step two

How to equip yourself to progress your career:

1 Have belief in yourself and visualise yourself succeeding

2 Work towards adding value in your work that will set you apart from others

3 Plan and manage your diary

4 Evaluate your goals regularly as there will be setbacks

5 Enrol help – you may well need a support network to help you achieve
success. This could be friends, family, a life coach or a mentor

6 The CIPD continuing professional development log is invaluable in helping
to map out goals and measure your achievements.

Step three

It is important to reflect on your work to look to the future.

1 Look at what you didn’t like about your last job – was it a working
relationship that did not work out, or did you take the job out of panic to get
a job, for example?

2 Understand what kind of job you are looking for. Firing out loads of CVs
will only cause frustration. Be realistic about your skills – if there are any
gaps in your experience then diarise them, as this will help you plug the gaps

3 Plan your self-development. Talk to different parts of the HR function and
ask people why projects succeed and fail. Find out what lessons can be learned.
This will help in future interviews

4 Attend CIPD events to learn and to network

5 Sit down with your line manager and ask to take on tasks that will help
you gain promotion. For example, you could ask to present management reports

6 Most importantly, don’t move roles for the sake of it. Ask for advice from
people you trust.

Fiona Brady, MCIPD, is director of HR consultancy HRHR,,
and will be talking at a fringe meeting on careers for HR professionals at this
year’s CIPD conference at Harrogate. The meeting takes place on 22 October at
6.30pm at St George Hotel, Harrogate

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