When Is Leaving HR the Answer?

Know when it is time for you to leave your HR employment.
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Human Resources staff members are passionate about their work and HR employment. They work hard walking a fine line to create a balance between management advocacy and employee advocacy. Each stakeholder is equally important.

In HR employment, they must strike another balance between transactional and administrative functions, and forward-thinking, employee engagement and business enhancing practices. 

Sometimes, the balancing gets heavy. So does the fact that you know that the majority of employees don't get the constant balancing act that must be maintained in HR employment.

And, just like in any other field, not all HR employees are great. Some, in fact, are rude and downright nasty. But, the majority are caring professionals and they get a bad rap from employees.

Readers have stories they share about why they hate HR, and even more stories when they had additional opportunities to talk about why they hate managers and HR employees. None of the stories are flattering for the HR practitioners.

Frankly, many of the comments echo the truth about what needs to change to make HR relevant, powerful, effective, insightful, and deserving of impact in business. Want that seat at the executive table? Here are the issues that may be preventing you from taking that seat—as experienced by you.

Why Might You Decide to Stay in HR Despite the Many Difficulties?

As long as you retain your passion for the HR field and the people, and your sense of humor, you can overlook a lot of aggravation. But, the negative aspects can get you down. These are ten of the downsides you experience in the HR profession.

None of these are career-ending guarantees on their own. But, the cumulative burden can drain your excitement and commitment to your HR employment. Take this opportunity to stop, assess what you're doing, fix it, change it, or get out of HR.

Here are thoughts about the top ten reasons to quit your job. These are the top ten reasons you might want to quit your career. You know it's time to go when your negative experiences in HR employment outweigh the positives in HR employment.

When to Leave Your HR Employment

  • You've lost your passion and you find that your mission for working in HR and your goals are no longer meaningful to you.
  • You find that most of your time is mired in administrative and transactional tasks, not at all what you signed on to spend your time doing in your HR employment, and you have been unable to find a way to change the situation.
  • Your industry has experienced economic turmoil and you've laid employees off, downsized your business, dealt with the fear, mistrust, loss, and the grief of remaining coworkers, and you're just burnt out in your HR role.
  • Government intervention in the employer-employee relationship has resulted in far-reaching employment laws that you are tired of learning about, navigating every day with different employees, and all the while, documenting your company's compliance.
  • You no longer think about employees as valued resources. Instead, they are the whiners, the complainers, and you are just plain tired of dealing with employee complaints and employees.
  • You perceive little or no opportunity for advancement or career development. You feel locked into the same HR role at different levels unless you're at a very big company where career advancement and lateral moves are more frequent. And, you'd like to try something different to grow and develop your skills.
  • You know that the whole online world of recruiting and social media networking is critical to your company's recruiting processes. But, the days of ads were so much easier and required less time. Daunted by the prospect of learning about all of the online resources, and especially participating in social media recruiting and networking, you'd just as soon do something other than HR employment.
  • You are tired of teaching managers over and over the appropriate steps for employee disciplinary action. They wait too long and involve you too late after they have made mistakes.
  • Then, you play clean up to help these managers appropriately coach and document performance issues that may lead up to disciplinary action including employment termination. You train them and coach them, and they still come whining about why it takes so long to fire a non-performing employee. Then, during the employment termination meeting, you are the frontline person doing the talking.
  • You are constantly recruiting the same roles because the manager is, at best, ineffective, or at worst, a bad boss. Employees receive inadequate training and coaching. They are micromanaged or constantly in fear of losing their jobs. No amount of training or coaching on your part seems to make a difference, and for whatever reason, and usually multiple reasons, your senior managers are unwilling to address the problem. Employees leave; you lose the investment you made in recruiting, training and onboarding, but the managers live forever. Employees leave managers, not jobs.
  • You fight continually to be relevant and strategic, yet the day-to-day responsibilities constantly consume your time. Your organization rewards you more for the daily record keeping tasks than it does for your strategic thinking, your vision of the HR contribution to the bottom line, and your participation in executive planning to direct the company. Battles with finance over cost versus retention, reward, recognition, and employee empowerment are frequent and painful.

You can find many reasons for why the time is right to leave your HR employment—and many other reasons for why leaving is a bad choice. Make sure your reason is the best choice for your career growth.