We used to be a little more patient. We could wait for things, take our time, pay our dues. We don’t seem to be able to do that anymore. I’m referring to the royal ‘we’ of course.

Not to sound like Uncle Albert, but I remember some of those valuable lessons taught to me when I was younger. If you want something, you’ve got to save for it. You can’t just walk into a big job, you’ve got to earn it. You want to do that job well? Then take your time and do it properly.

Allowance of time appears to have decreased. Everything is urgent.

Information is immediately available, social media, the internet, smart phones, all played an important part in removing barriers to time but not without consequences.

We live in a selfie generation, the “fake it til you make it” world and the need to have everything now, now, now and regardless of cost. 

But development takes time. Learning and embedding new skills takes time.  

To be hasty, often results in cutting corners and the corners cut are normally things we regard as unimportant, only later we will almost always discover, that they were actually very important.

This brings me on to my point.

In 15 years training and coaching HR professionals, I have seen a trend. There is a desire for the “quickest way to the top” for many. By top, most are aiming for a HR Manager level role, as if any role not at that level is not good enough. Every role has an important part to play.

And you can see how this trend is affecting the credibility of the HR function, when HR Manager positions upon further examination are actually operating at a level lower than the title would suggest. You can see HR Director level roles similarly being affected in the same way.

My advice is the old adage, “don’t run before you can walk”.

Learning the core skills in HR is vitally important. Learn how the payroll works, what the context of the culture is, why the terms and conditions are the way they are. Take your time to really understand this stuff – it’s not trivial. 

Speak to people and treat the allocation of your time as an investment. Enjoy lengthy, unscheduled conversations where you’ll learn stuff you might never have thought you needed.

Build time in to your plan, and in to your career aspirations, for time spent wisely will undoubtedly help you progress.

Resisting the desire to reach the ‘top’ overnight doesn’t mean you lack ambition, but it does mean that you want to be the best HR professional you can be. 

Take time, thoroughly learn the skills, enjoy the ride, and take the right opportunities at the right time – you’ll be glad that you did.

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