Chris Russell

3 min read

Human Resources

HR Life

Working in HR

Human resources (HR) is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, from recruiting and hiring to employee relations and benefits. As such, there are many pros and cons to working in HR including some bad situations which you can read about below.

Pros of working in HR

  • Helping people: HR professionals have the opportunity to help people every day, whether it's helping them find a job, resolve a conflict, or develop their career. This can be a very rewarding experience.
  • Variety of tasks: HR professionals typically have a variety of tasks to complete, which can keep the job interesting. This might include recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, performance management, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and more.
  • Good pay and benefits: HR professionals typically earn good salaries and benefits, which can include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
  • Opportunities for advancement: There are many opportunities for advancement in HR, from entry-level positions to senior-level roles. This can be a great career path for people who are looking for growth and development.

Cons of working in HR

  • Stressful: HR professionals often have to deal with difficult situations, such as employee layoffs or conflicts. This can be stressful, but it can also be challenging and rewarding.
  • Legal liability: HR professionals are often responsible for ensuring that the company complies with employment laws. This can be a daunting task, but it's important to ensure that the company is protected from legal liability.
  • Confidentiality: HR professionals must maintain confidentiality, which can be difficult at times. This is especially true when dealing with sensitive employee issues.
  • Politics: HR departments can be political, which can be frustrating for some people. It's important to be able to navigate the political landscape in order to be successful in HR.


Sad Stories from HR Life

Here's a typical story I hear over and over again. An HR person in a popular HR group wrote this recently;

How would you feel if you were THE sole HR person for 300 employees? I can barely keep up and I am so overwhelmed! I work from 8 am to 10-11 pm!

One HR person responded by saying;

"Oh my goodness, you should not have to work hours like that! Maybe once a year for a special project. But absolutely not ever as a regular schedule. You can absolutely justify at least one if not two people in your department. Do not continue to put in those hours. You are doing your own physical and mental health no favors."
It's rather sad to have to read stories like these. Another reader chimed in by adding;
"Sadly, this is all too familiar. I walked in those shoes. I ultimately left and was replaced with 3 people & they’re still struggling in some areas. Sometimes you have to put yourself first.  The need varies greatly by the tasks, automation, and corporate support, but it’s obviously not working for you. That kind of pace WILL affect your health. Stop."

Here are some additional quotes from social media that summarize what life is like while working in HR. Can you relate?

  • "Working in HR is like being a referee in a game of dodgeball. You're always getting hit, but you're also the one who has to make sure everyone plays fair." - @hr_quotes
  • "HR is the only department that has to deal with both the best and the worst of people." - @hr_professional
  • "Working in HR is like being a therapist, a lawyer, and a mediator all rolled into one." - @hr_life
  • "The best part about working in HR is helping people find their dream jobs. The worst part is having to fire people." - @hr_insider
  • "HR is the intersection of business and people. It's a challenging but rewarding career." - @hr_guru

These quotes highlight some of the challenges and rewards of working in HR. It's a field that requires a lot of patience, empathy, and problem-solving skills. But it's also a field that can be very rewarding, as you get to help people find their dream jobs and build successful careers.

Here are some additional things to consider when thinking about a career in HR:

  • Your personality: HR professionals need to be able to work well with people from all walks of life. They also need to be able to handle stress and be able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Your skills: HR professionals need to have strong communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills. They also need to be familiar with employment laws and regulations.
  • Your education: Most HR professionals have a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field. Some employers may also require a master's degree.

Overall, there are many pros and cons to working in HR. It's a rewarding career that can be challenging and exciting. If you're interested in helping companies grow and working in a field with a lot of variety, then HR might be a good career choice for you. But you'll have to weed through the bad companies to ensure you don't end up in a toxic environment.

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