Strategies for Achieving HR Career Goals

Building a rewarding career in human resources takes hard work, dedication, and a clear plan. Whether you are just starting out or already have years of experience, setting goals and taking purposeful steps can open up new opportunities. To that end, here are some proven strategies to help achieve your HR career aspirations.

Get Credentialed

One of the best ways to show your expertise and commitment is by earning an HR certification. Options like the PHR (Professional in Human Resources) and SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) credentials showcase your mastery of key HR concepts and federal regulations. According to the good folk at ProTrain, having PHR SPHR certification on your resume signals to employers you have sophisticated HR knowledge.

Develop In-Demand Skills

Successful HR professionals possess a unique blend of skills bridging understanding of employment laws, managing personnel issues, using HR data/metrics, and strategic thinking. Identify skills gaps and prioritize developing talents hiring managers currently prize; abilities like employment law expertise, data analysis, people management, and using HR software/technologies.

Build Your Professional Network

Networking opens doors. Make connections by joining HR associations like SHRM, attending conferences and events, or starting an HR blog. Swap career tips and insights with other HR pros. Having a solid professional network provides access to new job leads, mentors, and valuable industry knowledge.

Further Your Education

While a degree is not always required for many HR roles, earning an advanced certificate or master’s in HR management, organizational development or a related field can give you a competitive edge. Additional coursework fortifies your understanding of HR’s evolving best practices, laws, and tools.

Gain Cross-Functional Experience

Employers highly value HR employees who are well-rounded and have experience across multiple HR disciplines. If you have only worked in one area like compensation or employee relations, look for stretch assignments in benefits, training, recruiting or another unfamiliar domain. Broaden your perspective.

Sharpen Business Acumen

First-rate HR pros think like business partners, aligning HR strategy with their company’s broader goals, financials, and competitive landscape. Take courses in areas like accounting, finance, marketing, and operations to cultivate business savvy. Understanding revenue drivers, costs and business models is key.

Keep Learning

The HR field continually evolves with new regulations, technologies, and progressive management practices. Build a habit of ongoing professional development. Join an HR book club, take e-courses, read blogs, and set goals for attending conferences annually to remain at the forefront.

Find an HR Mentor

There is no substitute for having an experienced HR mentor in your corner. Mentors can provide career coaching, share their hard-won wisdom about navigating HR’s challenges, and alert you to potential pitfalls. Look within your company or HR network to find a well-respected mentor willing to advise you.

Job Hunt Strategically

Rather than blasting out resumes, precisely tailor your job search. Research roles and companies, customize application materials and apply only for positions matching your skills and interests. Practicing selectivity shows employers your sincere interest and commitment.

Celebrate Small Wins

Career progress does not happen overnight. Break down bigger goals into smaller, achievable steps and celebrate incremental wins along the way. Getting a new certification, spearheading a successful HR initiative, or expanding your HR know-how all deserve recognition and reflection on how far you have come.


Landing your dream HR role will not be easy; it takes thoughtful planning and persistent effort. But taking purposeful actions like those outlined above can put you firmly on the path to a dynamic, fulfilling HR career. Stay focused, embrace a growth mindset, and don’t lose sight of your ultimate HR goals. With dedication and strategic steps forward, you can achieve the HR career success you desire.

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