You’ve probably answered several like these, but I’m trying to figure out how to become a VP of HR. I have a bachelors degree in HR, and for the past two years I’ve been at a mid-market benefits consulting firm. I’m happy and appreciated where I’m at now, which makes me not want to leave, but I do have a career goal that I want to move towards. I had two HR internships while in college and thoroughly enjoyed all of the areas I touched, so I’m confident I will enjoy whatever I get into.
So, the question is, at what point do I move to the corporate side? What kind of position do I try to get? Just trying to figure out where to go from here and would love your input.
Well considering that I have no desire to be a VP of HR (of course, if someone wanted to pay me like one, that’s a different story), I’m not sure I’m the best person to answer that.
First of all, VP of HR means a world of difference if you are VP of a 50 person company vs a 25,000 person. I’m assuming you’re looking for the latter.
So, a degree in HR and two years of experience in a benefits firm. Great. I think you’re on the right path. Things I think you need to do:
- Get corporate experience. How do you do that? Start applying for corporate jobs.
- Look for a job that has rotational possibilities
- Actively seek out a line management job (read: non-HR Job). Why? Because you gain credibility by understanding the business.
- When you’ve had at least 5 years of experience get an MBA. Get this MBA from the absolute best school you can get into. If you can get into a top 10 school, then go ahead and quit your job while you are in school. If you can’t, an executive MBA is fine.
- Don’t be afraid to tackle the difficult jobs. You’ve already started by jumping into benefits, which is a complicated and increasingly important role.
- Seek out a mentor.
- Pay attention to how the people who are VPs act and dress and emulate them. (Note: not copy them. That’s just creepy.)
- Read the comments because my readers have fabulous suggestions