Tuesday, 2 March 2010

“So when do I get keys to the house?”

“So when do I get keys to the house?”

I remember the conversation well- 17 (or thereabouts) years of age and convinced I needed keys to my home in order to put the outside world on notice that I was an adult worthy of such responsibility and needed it for the benefit of my social life. “If I am out late with friends I don’t want to have to wake you guys, I only have your interests at heart; surely this is better this way?”

What has prompted this bout of nostalgia I hear you ask? In a recent conversation with a colleague we were discussing at what stage you make the break from being an employee to possibly becoming some form of HR Consultant (i.e. run your own business- namely you).

We both agreed that you needed a certain degree of exposure to certain facets of the HR function. For example issues such as change management, line management in general, and some illustration of leadership in previous roles seemed to be reoccurring themes that we agreed upon. However we were not sure what stage one could make the jump in terms of convincing others to believe you were worthy of able to assist their business. I felt once you had reached Advisor or Consultant level that from there the world is your lobster, whereas as the person I was speaking to was more inclined to say Assistant Director/Director level.

I was a little surprised about that answer in the sense that I would be worried about taking jump in to my own private venture after possibly having worked hard to earn that role; not to mention those positions don’t come around that often so you might be waiting a while to make the jump.

It then got me thinking about my other friends in the industry who I think are at a similar position to myself. The following job titles would, in my opinion, not have massive differences in terms of content but rather the level of seniority might have more to do with organisational hierarchy rather than prescribed difference found throughout HR: HR Advisor, Officer, Analyst, and maybe HR Assistant (less confident possibly about the last one).

However, I stand to be corrected! So if you are reading this and think otherwise please say. Also, referring back to what myself and my friend were discussing, would there ever be a certain role or level of experience you would wait to obtain before making the jump to your own consultancy/private entity you had ownership of? If so, what were/are they and what did they entail?

To come back to what I started this post on, I did get the house keys. I then promptly lost them at a friends house that evening and did the same thing twice again over next 6 weeks.

What did this tell me? Although there are 17 years olds worthy of this responsibility I was not one of them. However this left my parents with a choice- either give me another set or leave me out in the cold of an evening (once I had won the initial argument about having the keys there seemed to be no return in that regard, despite my efforts) to think about how I should act a little more responsibly. They took the first option- so despite making the same mistake (more than once) I was given the chance to rectify it. Perhaps there is something in this example when pondering making that professional jump I discussed with my friend- without pushing and then losing the keys in the first instance, I might still be stuck at my parent’s house in doors with nowhere to go…

1 comment:

  1. Hi all... Though I'm not in HR, I think this is a relevant debate to people across all sectors, when to take the plunge?

    Never an easy answer though I suppose you can only do it when you feel the risk/reward tradeoff is a favourable one on both a professional and personal level. For example, if you fell you have learnt all you can from your current employer, or have no further promotions available, then maybe the professional risk isn't too great...

    Whatever happens leaving your comfort zone and trying continuously re-invent yourself must be positive!

    Good luck!