The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

3 Steps to Starting (or Tuning Up) a Higher Ed HR Career Plan

Right directionWorking as an intern on the learning and professional development team for CUPA-HR, I frequently find my thoughts turning to what’s next for me professionally. There’s no shortage of online career planning advice, and I’ve found some great information on sites such as HOW. Although its focus is on design careers, they share great advice on setting career goals and creating action plans for achieving them that could be applied to any profession.

As part of my work, I’ve also been spending a lot of time with CUPA-HR’s new Learning Framework, and I’ve discovered what a great resource it can be for higher ed HR professionals interested in creating or tracking their own career plans.

If you don’t already have a career plan (or your current plan needs a tune-up), here are a few questions to think about:

  1. What knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) have you already mastered, and where do you see gaps?
    Hint: The Learning Framework offers a great starting point for identifying what competencies are important for a career in higher ed HR.
  2. How are you currently developing yourself to further your career?
    The core competencies such as benefits, compensation, recruitment and others are important; but equally important is personal development through working on self-awareness, conflict engagement, facilitation skills, etc.
  3. How will you fill the gaps and grow the expertise you’ve just identified as important to your career?
    There are so many options for development — e-learning courses, webinars, workshops, conferences. Also consider enlisting others (both inside and outside your institution) to help you further your career through formal and informal mentorships, job shadowing or other opportunities.

Do you have a career development plan? Do you have any tips or ideas you can share with others? Are there any additional resources that you feel will help you with career planning? Use the comments section below to tell us what you’re doing.

If you’re planning to head to Las Vegas in October for the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2013, you’ll want to check out the preconference workshops for early-career professionals and those aspiring to become chief HR officers. You can visit the conference website for more information. You can also get many resources from CUPA-HR e-learning courses, Knowledge Center or the association’s publications.