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How to Make a Career Switch to Human Resources in Singapore

​Venturing into a career switch to human resources (HR) can be rewarding, offering you a chance to work at the heart of an organisation’s people-centric initiatives. Human resources encompasses distinct pillars such as compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, training and development, and business partnering, allowing you to tailor your focus based on your interests and passion. For those uncertain about a specific pillar, a HR generalist role may be an ideal starting point, requiring a comprehensive understanding of the various areas of HR.

In Singapore’s diverse and global business landscape, transitioning to HR requires careful consideration and strategic planning. To facilitate a seamless and successful shift in your career path, here are 5 key steps to guide your journey:

1. Conduct a self-assessment

Before diving into a career change, conduct a thorough self-assessment. Identify your current skills, strengths, and, most importantly, your interests. A successful HR professional requires excellent communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. So, it is important to evaluate how your existing capabilities align with the demands of a role in HR.

2. Research the HR function

Take the time to research and understand the various roles within HR. Familiarise yourself with positions such as HR generalist, HR specialist, and HR manager, along with their respective responsibilities. Find out more about the qualifications required for these roles. This knowledge will help you tailor your approach and build a structured plan for your career switch.

3. Upskilling & reskilling

To enhance your credentials in HR, consider enrolling in HR-related courses, certifications, or degree programmes. Singapore’s local tertiary institutions offer various HR management programmes. Some widely recognised certifications include Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). These certifications not only provide knowledge but also demonstrate your commitment to the field.

4. Gain relevant experience

Switching careers often means starting anew, leaving behind a higher-paying job. While you may bring a valuable set of transferable skills from your previous role, navigating the intricacies of a new role or industry can be a steep learning curve. On top of that, companies often prioritise experienced hires, making relevant experience crucial for a successful transition into HR.

Start building your HR career with entry-level positions, as this initial experience will offer insights into the day-to-day operations of HR and strengthen your professional profile. Networking with professionals in the field and seeking mentorship can also provide guidance and open doors to opportunities.

5. Keep your HR knowledge up to date

HR is a dynamic landscape that is constantly evolving, shaped by changes in laws, regulations, and industry practices. To stay abreast of these changes, it is important to stay informed through continuous upskilling, attending webinars, and joining professional organisations. Your commitment to staying current will showcase your dedication to professional growth and ensures you remain relevant.

Transitioning into a new career, especially one as people-centric as HR, can be challenging. However, with thorough preparation, determination, and a clear plan, success is within your reach. Remember that your unique skills, experiences, and soft skills can contribute a valuable perspective to HR teams. Embrace the journey, and you will find that the switch to the HR field in Singapore can be a fulfilling and enriching career move.

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