Want a Game-Changing Position? You Should Try “HR Advisor” on for Size

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Mar 24, 2015

Do you work in HR?

Do you want to be promoted and make more money? Do you like being in charge? Are you ready to help your company make some important decisions?

Well, sorry, your options are limited.

Another track if you are stuck in the HR trenches

There is one senior-level HR job at your company. Maybe it’s a Chief HR Officer — someone with fiduciary obligations and who might be an investor in your company. Maybe it’s a senior VP of HR, and he used to work with your CEO at another company. It could be a Director of HR who reports to the CFO, or maybe it’s a Director of People who reports into ops.

(God help the “Director of People,” by the way. What a horrible title.)

Just like the NBA or the NFL, most human resources professionals will never get called to the big show. Some of those HR peeps say things like, “I don’t want the big job and the fancy title, anyway. I’m happy making a contribution in my simple way.”

OK, good for you. Must be nice to be so fulfilled.

I think all other HR professionals need to strive for something, even if it’s not the No. 1 job. If you’re on your game and you want a career goal, you could do worse than to aspire to the role of advisor.

3 reasons “HR advisor” makes sense

“Advisor sounds dodgy,” you tell me. “It doesn’t sound like a real job with measurable outcomes.”

Yes, you’re right. Being an advisor is stupid because traditional HR is known for being a serious job with measurable outcomes. Maybe you ought to stop reading my blog and go read Forbes or something. Josh Bersin has an article for you on big data and employee engagement.

For the rest of you, being an advisor is probably the best place to be if you work in human resources.

  • Advisors are powerful. They are trusted, they are revered, and they are intimately involved in making key business decisions. Let’s face it — HR professionals aren’t often asked to express an opinion; however, advisors have the ear of key leaders and executives.
  • Advisors are game-changers. When you advise powerful people, you are directing the future for software, talent, finances, and even marketing trends in your company.
  • Advisors are bulletproof. Advisors have strong relationships and are known as good people (unless you are the Dick Cheney of HR). When the shit hits the fan, which it always does, the best HR advisors move on to advising the next round of leaders.

Time to make a difference

You can fight for the No. 1 job at your company. You can earn your MBA and your HR certifications. I would spend some time thinking about how you earn the trust of the best leaders in your company.

Be someone who makes a difference in HR. Be an advisor.

This was originally published on the Laurie Ruettimann blog.