ASK HR: What qualifications do I need to excel in my HR career? - Daily Nation

What qualifications do I need to excel in my HR career?

Friday February 16 2018

A woman presents her résumé during an interview. FILE PHOTO

A woman presents her résumé during an interview. What course should I advance on to be one of the most valuable HR personnel in future? FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRED GITUKU
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Q. I’m a diploma holder working in a multinational company as HR assistant. I would want to advance my education and grow in my line of career. What course should I advance on to be one of the most valuable HR personnel in future? Should it be a B.Com or would a degree in HR alone do? Please advise me.

 

Although the career journeys of successful HR professionals differ, some milestones are common. Relevant academic and professional qualifications matter, and you therefore should benefit from the homework of finding out which institutions enable their students better apply their HR knowledge.

There is however much more to the raw material that makes a HR professional than academic achievements. HR professionals are expected to not only demonstrate avant-garde functional expertise, but also to contribute to their organisation’s overall business goals. It is therefore important for them to expand their focus beyond parochial HR concerns and attain a clear understanding of their organisation’s business and its context.

The ability to cultivate meaningful relationships and earn the confidence of a cross section of internal and external stakeholders is crucial for HR professionals in helping them to effectively shape people agenda in their organisations. It helps when HR professionals uphold the values of their organisations, aware that they need to set positive cultural examples.

Consider too the need to nurture your communication skills as they will come in handy in the whirl of sensitively negotiating competing stakeholder expectations. Alongside this is the definite need to have robust emotional intelligence as there will be plenty of situations that will severely test your presence of mind and the spine of your temper.  

Find a mentor. Try an executive coach. Know your strengths and use them to your advantage. In the end, you will discover there is no magic potion for becoming a highly successful HR professional. They are human beings working alongside others to earn their keep; they get it right but also make mistakes. They know all great things take time to build. So espouse grit and write your story.  

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