HR career tips: 13 pieces of advice from the HR tech experts


If you could give one piece of advice to someone, what would it be?

We asked the HR and People experts what advice they’d give to spur those around them to strive for greatness.

Find out exactly what they said.

Take time for you

Making time for yourself is so important, explains, Jon Thurmond, Regional Human Resources Manager at Team Fishel, and co-host of Twitter chat, #HRSocialHour. “HR pros help a lot of people, from management to employees and peers every day,” he explains.

“If it’s reading blogs, taking part in a Twitter chat, or attending an industry event, be sure to find ways to take that time for you.”

Be great at one thing – not average at everything

Is it better to be a Jack of all trades or an expert at one thing?

“Don’t settle for being average at everything – be great at something”, Ben Eubanks, Principal Analyst at the Lighthouse Research and Advisory and host of ‘We’re Only Human’ podcast, explains.

He advocates to, “continuously explore and experiment within the HR profession to find which specialties and options are most compelling and exciting, and then spend more time trying to do those kinds of things.”

Only you are responsible for your own career

“You are responsible for your own career”, Lisa Rosendahl, Human Resources Director at US Department of Veterans Affairs, and co-founder and Editor of Women of HR blog comments.

“Stop thinking that if you work hard and do a good job people will notice,” she continues. “They are too busy working on their own careers.”

So how do you overcome that to move forward in your career? She suggests that, “uncomfortable as it may seem, tell people what you’ve accomplished, why it’s important to them and to you – and never forget those who helped you along the way.”

Ask more than you tell

Shally Steckerl, Chief Sourcing Guru and Founder at The Sourcing Institute and author of The Talent Sourcing and Recruitment Handbook, shares his three essential career tips: “Ask more than you tell. Listen before questioning. Understanding comes through observation without expectation.”

Live where you want to live and then go find a job there

Happiness is key to job satisfaction suggests Sharlyn Lauby, Founder of HR Bartender blog and President of ITM Group Inc. “Live where you want to live and then go find a job there”, she explains.

Don’t run up sand dunes

Keep it simple says Dave Ulrich, Rensis Likert Professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and co-Founder and Principal at the RBL Group. “Don’t run up sand dunes”, he says. “I do this by being clear about what I want, who I serve, how I build, and where I am.”

Serve by leading and lead by serving

How can you manage and support your employees effectively?

“Serve by leading and lead by serving”, suggests David D’Souza, Head of Engagement and Learning at CIPD, the UK professional body for HR and people development.

“It keeps things nice and simple – you are here to support others, and sometimes that means you have to lead them.”

Always leave a place better than you found it

“The best piece of advice I ever got was from my grandfather – always leave a place better than you found it”, Dr. Tanvi Gautam, Founder of Leadershift Inc explains.

“It has been a theme in all institutions and clients I have been associated with. It drives me to learn more, to do more, and be more. If we all did that bit to make it a little better, imagine the world we would live in.”

Don’t lead your work – let it lead you

“Don’t lead your work. Let it lead you.” That’s the advice from Susan LaMotte, Founder & CEO of exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm: “I absolutely love what I do and from that one piece of advice have learned a great deal about where to spend my time and energy.”

Never stop learning

We always come across new things we can conquer and challenge ourselves with. Gemma Dale, co-Founder of The Work Consultancy, offers up simple, yet effective advice: “never stop learning.”

Gautam Ghosh, Consultant, talent advisory services at VBeyond Corporation, a search and RPO consultancy echoes this: “Always look out to the edge – that’s where the next wave of change is coming from.”

Aadil Bandukwala, Evangelist at predictive outbound hiring solution Belong shares a quote he’s adopted from one of his mentors: “If one always looked to the skies, one would end up with wings.”

It’s not how good you are – it’s how good you want to be

That’s Perry Timms message. The Founder and Chief Energy Officer at People and Transformational HR and author explains: “It was from a book by Paul Arden, and I gift a copy of this to whoever I want to help the most”.

“Essentially, it’s not just your skills but your will, too. Your drive could determine how clever, successful, and impactful you are on others and the world.”

Do what you love

“My father taught me many years ago (and he lived this way) to do what you love”, says Analyst, Josh Bersin.

Josh focused on what he loved, rather than money or position during his career: “I always gravitated towards jobs, work, and companies I truly enjoyed. By doing that I developed a series of wonderful career experiences and it has all been wonderfully fulfilling.”

Work out who you are and be that

Jon Ingham, HR and Organization Development Consultant at Strategic Dynamics Consultancy Services, and author of ‘The Social Organization’ summarizes his top advice as simply, “Work out who you are and be that.”