How do I enter HR?
May 29, 2010 9:42 AM Subscribe
I'm a stay-at-home mom. I think I've developed an interest in HR. How can I position myself to enter that field when I return to work? More resume-type info inside.
posted by anonymous to work & money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
asking anonymously because I find asking employment questions terribly awkward and embarrassing!
In the U.S. I have been at home with my child for the past year, and expect to be home for a few more years (five?), but I can be flexible. I practiced law for a few years before staying home. While at home, I have been serving on the management board (as a volunteer) of a large public body with several thousand employees. (I also do a little part-time professional work, if that matters.) I have discovered, while doing this service, that I really, really enjoy the HR stuff that comes to us. I LOVE solving the problems that arise with employees -- individually, as groups, small things, huge things. I find the whole thing fascinating -- the legal problems, the processes for management of people, the hiring and firing, the training and teaching, all of it. (Of course we mostly deal personally with high-level hiring and with problems that have become epic; otherwise we mostly get updates.) While I was a lawyer, the part of the job I enjoyed MOST was client contact.
So I have begun thinking that when I am ready to go back to work, I might really like to work in HR. I have a BA in the social sciences, and a JD, both from top schools. I have no prior experience in HR, nor any training. I have managed employees in the past (about 300 of them in a job prior to law school), but it was a pretty small potatoes job.
How could I go about positioning myself to enter the HR field? I have plenty of time to think about it, learn about it, and educate myself for it, if this is the direction I decide to go. However, it would be very difficult to justify, say, getting an MBA since I already have two degrees, that would cost a lot (I might be able to get a full scholarship but then I'd have to go full-time and that defeats the purpose of being an at-home parent), and that's a lot of money to spend on someone who isn't working and could get a well-paying job without it. Do I network? Attend conferences? Engage in particular volunteer work? Take some particular classes? (There is a university nearby that has a business school for both undergrad and MBA work.)
I would like to both learn more about the field, to be sure I would enjoy the work, and to figure out how to position myself to re-enter the workforce, in HR, in a few years.