Skill Builder: This HR Expert Offers Tips to Help Advance Your Career

Want to advance your career? This HR expert recommends that you be willing to learn and develop new skills and ask for feedback.

When Trina G., regional human resource director, Region 6 in Houston, Texas, realized she wanted to work in human resources (HR), she put herself on a path leading to that career. But she was conscious of making sure she was developing the skills she’d need when she achieved her goal.

 

“I attended trainings and events to make sure that my heart wasn’t leading me down a path where I didn’t have some sort of a skill set,” she says. “When the opportunity presented itself and the time was right, I was able to transition over into the HR world.”

 

That mix of ambition and desire to learn has helped Trina during her many years in HR. She’s most passionate about associate engagement, training and development, building relationships, diversity and inclusion, and overall leadership. 

 

What should you do before seeking a promotion or new career?
 
As an HR professional, I ask, “How can I help you build skills? What do you want to do? How can we help you?”
 
The person seeking something new needs to consider, “Why am I seeking this? Am I looking for a title? A career? Am I really trying to learn something totally different from what I’m doing, and I have no experience in it?”
 
What are some ways you develop new skills?
 
I subscribe to professional newsletters and read the articles to make sure I understand what’s happening in the HR industry.
 
For example, I subscribe to several HR professional podcasts to hear what others are doing. I also joined several HR networks to meet people and to hear those things that I may not be practicing in my role. I don’t ever want to just lose sight of what I need to stay sharp about.
 
Do you let your managers know if you’re interested in other areas?
 
Every leader that I’ve had has always supported my personal development. We all might have a lifespan in one job, but if you allow someone to keep picking up different skill sets or at least become more knowledgeable, they could become much better for the company.
 
What’s your advice to those who don’t get that opportunity or promotion they hoped for?
 
The first thing I tell them to do is to follow up with those hiring managers. And this is advice that I use for myself as well. If I was ruled out, I ask for a follow-up conversation, ask for specific feedback. Ask, “What can I do better?”
 
If you find out that it’s a skill issue, how do you find a mentor with that skill set? What can you read? Is it a subject and skill you can learn?
 
What if someone asks for a follow-up, but that request is declined or ignored?
 
Once the position is filled, and a person is named for the role that you were interested in, I’d give them a call or shoot them an email. Ask them about their experience or background because you’re interested in that type of role. You can at least understand the background and experience that got them the seat that you wanted.

 

Follow Trina on LinkedIn for more!

For more stories, advice, and inspiration, download your copy of the Spring issue of Walmart World here!

 
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