Can I move on from HR?

A confused letter writer is looking to make a career switch. Luckily, our elder used to be a career counselor and has some sage advice.


Dear EWC

Hello, First I would like to thank you for your free service. I am really in tears writing this letter. Actually, I don’t have enough money to pay for career coaching and I am really confused to move forward with my career choices. I have one year of HR work experience, and I am thinking of switching into a business development and client relationship role. I can see a clear career path in HR but I think I could do more. I am good at making relationships, deep conversation, and my knowledge about management and business is also good. Please help me out with my career choice as I am really lost and frustrated. Thank you so much.


SaraJ replies

Thank you for your letter. I do not know if I can give you a new career choice but I can share with you what I learned after several years as a career counselor.

I’m going to suggest that you first accept that every job is nothing more than a solution to a problem. So, what kind of problem solver are you? Do you like solving problems related to people, data or things? Based on the limited amount of what you have told me, it sounds like you like working with people and feel you are good at that. I’m sure your job in HR has given you an opportunity to refine those skills. 

If you make working with people the foundation of your new career choice, then what kind of problems do you like to solve for/with people? What type of environment do you like working in? Do you have some strong values that you would like to support with your work?

To give you an idea of how this works, let’s say you want to help young people, in a medical setting, who are struggling to accept they have a serious health issue. The types of jobs that would work could be: nurse, social worker, psychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, home health worker, nutritionist, etc.

There’s a great book called What Color is Your Parachute, that can help you figure out for yourself what some possible career paths might be. In this book, you will identify what your skills, values and goals are. Once you figure this out, you can look at extra training you may need or ways you can get your foot in the door through volunteerism or starting in an entry level position.

I feel that when a person is young, almost any job will teach them new skills that they will use in their future. Diverse experience is invaluable! Have the courage to try new things. You never know where it might lead….

Wishing you all the best! Feel free to write again anytime.

Article #: 494710
Category: Career

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