3 ways to take charge of your career in HR

If you believe you are deserving of a promotion or raise this year, don't wait for someone to come to you; be your #1 advocate! 

Here are three actions you can use to take charge of your career in 2018:

1. Seek out new experiences 
Following the same daily routine is comfortable, but it's not very exciting and probably won't get you noticed. If you want to take the next step in your career, seek out new experiences and challenges.

An understandable but common mistake many people can make is being afraid of taking on projects outside of their normal job duties. We worry about spreading ourselves too thin or detracting from a niche we have developed. However, taking on new responsibilities and dabbling in unexpected areas are often stepping stones to career advancement. Steve Cadigan, former vice president of talent at LinkedIn and now a consultant, made his way up the HR ladder by working in mergers and acquisitions at Cisco and then a role at the company's Singapore office.  

"If you really want to get ahead, you have to sit in as many spots as possible and find your expertise," he said in an interview with the Society for Human Resource Management. "It doesn't matter whether you start out as a recruiter or a generalist, you can learn from any position." 

The worse thing that can happen is you find out a certain aspect of HR isn't for you, and you move on to your next role with a few new skills in your pocket. 

2. Immerse yourself in the industry 
To make a strong business case for expanding your HR responsibilities or taking on a new position, you need to show that you're tapped into what's going on in the industry. This knowledge gives your manager confidence that you can make well-informed strategic decisions for your company.  

careerIt's time to take charge of your career.

Provide context for your day-to-day HR activities by immersing yourself in the goings-on of the industry. Subscribe to HR blogs, newsletters and magazines. Track trends in recruitment, hiring and talent management. Stay abreast of tax, overtime and other legislation that can impact your business. Follow industry conferences and attend webinars and local workshops addressing current HR issues. Learn about new technology and what systems can improve HR operations and employee engagement within your company.

3. Hone your executive presence
Some people just have it – that commanding, confident air that makes people pay attention and listen. This special quality is called executive presence, and the great thing about it is that anyone can have it.

According to People Leaders, working on three areas in particular can help you develop your executive presence: appearance, voice and body language. Market yourself by dressing for success and being well groomed every day. Speaking clearly and confidently helps you seem put together, and standing with good posture projects authority. Work on these three areas to develop your presence for a higher-level role. 

Don't sit back and wait for opportunity to arrive at your doorstep in 2018. Take charge of your career this year by regularly seeking out new experiences, immersing yourself in the industry and honing your executive presence.