It’s important that HR employees embrace lifelong learning.
HR is a complex field and it’s one which requires a great deal of knowledge and expertise to be successful in.
However, it’s about much more than simply acquiring a position; to have a good career in HR you need to be proactive about lifelong learning.
The right mindset is absolutely imperative if you want to remain competitive and of real value to your employer, and this means taking responsibility for the acquisition of knowledge wherever you can. Passively waiting for information to be delivered to you will soon leave you sitting in the professional slow lane while others pass you by.
Lifelong learning is a valuable concept for any employee to embrace but for those working in HR, it’s absolutely essential.
HR is the department that everyone in the company turns to when they want expert information or advice on a range of issues.
The subjects which fall within the remit of HR are diverse and wide-ranging and it can be an extremely demanding environment, particularly given the time-sensitive or highly personal nature of some tasks.
Part of HR’s responsibilities is to ensure that the company is adhering to relevant employee legislation. But simply learning about these when you train is not sufficient, you need to be constantly updating your knowledge to stay current.
This is no mean feat; law, statutes and legislation are amended or introduced regularly. Nevertheless as a HR employee, you will be expected to know the relevant information and to be aware of all changes as they’re introduced.
Embrace lifelong learning to maximise your career potential
Anyone who has recently applied for a job will be able to testify to the wealth of competition that there is in the labour market, many of whom are competent, experienced and well-qualified.
You may not plan on leaving your job but in the current economic climate, there’s much more volatility than in the past and you may unexpectedly find yourself looking for a new position.
Unless you have embraced the principles of lifelong learning and stayed abreast of all developments, enhancing your skills along the way, you are going to find yourself sadly lacking compared to other HR professionals.
In order to ensure that you would be appealing to other employers, should the need arise, and of a standard of knowledge which is at least comparable to other candidates, lifelong learning is an absolute essential.
When you accept a job you will undoubtedly take a good look at the job description before deciding whether it’s the right role for you.
However, much of what’s written may be fairly loosely worded, leaving it open to interpretation.
What this means for many employees is a position which is more fluid, creating opportunities for new challenges or even progression. In order to take advantage of this, you’ll need to be in the best possible shape so you can tackle whatever arises as your role evolves and shifts. But it’s not even just about opportunities for self-improvement; failing to partake in ongoing development could leave you unable to complete your tasks to a satisfactory level. In turn, this could result in disciplinary action.
An employer may well provide you with some elements of ongoing learning but it’s up to you to make the most of what’s on offer and also source your own information too. Only by taking ownership of your personal development and ongoing learning will you continue to be valuable both in your current role and also in any new openings which appear.
Lifelong learning is a notion that most employees are now expected to adopt, and as a HR employee, it’s even more vital. Staying abreast of changes in the law, as well as deepening your knowledge continuously will make you more marketable should the need arise, as well as delivering more value to your employer, which inevitably will be recognised in the longer term.
Image Credits: Claire Hughes and Krystal S