HR Career Not Moving Fast Enough? Willing to Answer These 10 Questions to Accelerate It?

By Alan Collins

When you’re alone, in your most reflective moments, do you wonder if your HR career has slowed down…or even crashed?

If so, is this why you decided to check out this article — which consists of nothing but QUESTIONS — to help you find out?

Great, I’m glad you did…so if you want to discover for sure if your career is going down the toilet, start by candidly answering the 10 questions below, okay?

Ready to begin?

1.  Has your HR role remained unchanged for the last three years?

2.  Have you been dissatisfied with the size of your paycheck or bonus for the last three years?

3.  Have you bounced from employer to employer without much change in job title or compensation?

4.  Did your most recent performance reviews include the terms “meets expectations,” “good” or “adequate performance.”

5.  Do your clients or colleagues ask others for guidance, help and advice — before asking you?

6.  Have people hired after you have been promoted faster than you?

7.  Do you have significantly fewer job duties, direct reports, clients or budget accountability than you had 18 months ago?

8.  Do your managers and co-workers communicate less frequently with you? Are you finding that your phone rings less and you get fewer emails? Do you feel out of the loop?

9.  Do you spend lots of time complaining about work? When you tell stories about work, are you the story’s “victim,” not its hero?

10. Have you stop having fun on the job? Do you dread getting up on Monday mornings?

Do any of these sound familiar?

Did you answer “Yes” to two or more of these questions? If so, did you know that this means that it’s very likely your career may have in fact stalled?  

Is this a concern? Would you be open to considering some changes that might jump start it again?  Are you sure?

If so, I’d suggest taking some time to carefully think through the 4 potential action steps below, okay?

Step #1:
Have you thought about making a BOLD, MASSIVE, BIG BANG CHANGE in your career to get it going again?

For example, is it time to have a no BS, REAL sit-down with your boss?

Do you feel fully utilized in your current role?

Is it time to make a BOLD job move?

Is it time to dramatically enhance your HR skills and competencies?

Is it time to dump the corporate gig entirely and go independent as a consultant, coach, headhunter or entrepreneur?

Are you willing to commit to doing any these things today?

If you are willing, would you write it down right now, so you don’t forget?

Step #2:  
Have you considered MORE AGGRESSIVELY MARKETING YOURSELF inside your current organization?

Do you recognize how much value you’re adding to your organization?

Is your boss a career advocate for you?

What about your boss’ boss?

Are you aware that lone rangers don’t advance far up the HR food chain?

Who are your mentors?

Step 3:
Have you thought about ways to package up your HR know-how and experience to promote your HR career even more?

Do you write well?

What about crafting a short 5-10 page report on something you do well?

What about writing an article on a recent HR project you got rave reviews on?

Do you blog?

Not a writer, ok – can you speak?

Do you think any of these things would enhance your HR reputation and visibility?

Do you think an enhanced reputation in HR with more people could open up more doors for you?

Step #4:
Is there anything you could do to better showcase your talents outside your organization?

How engaged are you beyond the walls of your current organization?

Is your LinkedIn profile and resume up to date?

Are you pleased with the size of your network and existing relationships?

How many headhunters and executive recruiters know you by name?

Think all this isn’t important, then answer this question…if your job was suddenly eliminated, what’s your plan B? Who would you turn to?

What do you think about asking yourself these simple questions every six months…and then TAKING ACTION on the results?

Would your HR career trajectory be different? Do you think it would help you jumpstart or accelerate your career forward? If so, does it make sense to schedule an appointment with yourself now to go through these questions…seriously?

So, what do you think? Was this question-based article helpful?

Before you go, can you do two small favors for me?

1. Would you share your comments on this article by clicking HERE?
2. Can you pass this article on to others who might benefit from it and ask them what they think too?

Would you mind if I thanked you in advance?


Want to rev your HR career and get it in high gear again? Then check out the best-seller:  UNWRITTEN HR RULES: 21 Strategies For Attaining Awesome Career Success in Human Resources by going HERE.

About the author: Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR and the author of a variety of best selling books for HR professionals  including UNWRITTEN HR RULES.   He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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26 Responses to “HR Career Not Moving Fast Enough? Willing to Answer These 10 Questions to Accelerate It?”

  1. Mojisola Idris Says:

    Useful information!

  2. Diana Says:

    Thank you Alan, simply put it is like getting on a train with various possible stations for each of us to select depending on where do we intend to go and where to get off and take action. It is a precious guidance to be referred to consistently through out our HR professional career…actually for any other career as well, and it triggers thinking, analysis, decision making, guidance. A very encouraging tool, it pushes towards change…I will need to read and reread it again, and again ….Thank you Alan

  3. Joseph Musoke Says:

    dear Alan you are a joy to read and follow up on your articles. This is so inspirational that it is hard to find people of your stature who provide the entire road map to revamp one’s career when people are derailed, stalled or lost hope. with this article am sure you have touched many people’s lives and many will start life afresh because of you. You are a great guy keep up the spirit and support to facilitate many HR folks. for information what you talk about HR folks is not different to benefit the other folks. Loved the article and many others you have shared. God bless your hands that have helped to fend for us. warm regards Joseph

  4. Toyin Says:

    That’s exactly were I am right now. Thanks for sharing, really helpful, sad thing is we know these things, but applying it is just the issue.. Focus focus..

  5. Rod Austin Says:

    Alan, it can be scary to take an honest, introspective look at yourself, but these questions are a great start and should be considered periodically as you suggest. I just got out of a rut using some of the tactics in questions one and two. The biggest advice is to stop feeling sorry for yourself or circumstances and take the initiative to change them. I appreciate your insights.

  6. Ollie Says:

    Very timely as I seek to advance and CHALLENGE myself to move foward in my career. I will be using these four steps. Thank you!

  7. Bukola Apata Says:

    Hi Alan, Just had the opportunity of settling down to read this, quite challenging and commendable. You just got me on my feet, i will definitely work on this and revert back to you. i apprecaite your insight and leadership attributes. Your idea of passing knowledge is massive. Thank you so very much.

  8. Norah Says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article, opened up my thinking!focuses on issues that are easily overlooked.

  9. Camille Says:

    Great article! I will use these 4 steps to move forward in my career. Thanks!

  10. Patricia M Rhoads Says:

    Ii have always wanted to be the fly on the wall. Not for spying to find out what/hear/ observe what the employees truly want and how it could improve the company.

    Quite frankly, I have learned much from my temp positions and would like to continue temping. I have been an entrepreneur, speaker, writer mentor and volunteer.

    I do not know what I want to be when I grow up. Consider this, I will obtain my MBA this May. OK so it’s an accomplishment. But that will not land me a job or a position.

    I just want to make a difference. Why? I am 71, a newly wed and life is too short not to have your dessert first.

    Being a jillich ( a skimmer stone) that’s me! You have to make a difference. It is like eating your dessert first.


  11. Nadiya Rashid Says:

    Very detailed and informative. I will definitely keep these useful points in mind to keep my HR career moving and growing.

  12. Arlette Herd Says:

    Thanks for this article. I could have used it two years ago when I decided to leave my current employer to pursue my “side hustle”. Now I am no longer operating my business and I’m looking to return to my professional HR career. Your articles have been very helpful in my job search efforts.

    I appreciate your commitment to HR and to the professionals in the field.


  13. Olusegun Kuye Says:

    Hi Alan,
    You killed it as always. Quite commendable write up. I want to go through these list one after another. I am certain I will get result.
    You are not a writer, you are giver Alan. Till next time remain blessed sie

  14. Jumoke Fadare Says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Lots to reflect on. Thank you.

  15. Chickie Says:

    Alan, this was a great article. Very detailed and so and the helpful information your provided is awesome! Thank you for you articles of encouragement and in some cases they are a wake up call to improve in some way….much like this article.

  16. Everlyne Opiyo Says:

    The article makes a lot of sense. Personally I had reached a dead end and I am currently looking out for specialist hr jobs

  17. shamma Says:

    Well written article !

    The questions really makes you ponder over the HR career graph, very useful information. An honest answer to each of the questions listed in the article would actually push one to come out of their HR career slumber.
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. Steve Oboh Says:

    Quite invigorating. A wake up call and steps to move ahead

  19. Stephanie B Says:

    Great Article!

  20. Gloria Says:

    Great and valuable article,already noted immediate action points. Thanks Alan

  21. Michelin Messler Says:


    This is a very thought provoking article and something all HR Professionals should think about from time to time. I find myself at a crossroads in my career and this article ensues me that I am on the right path.

    Thanks for your insight.

    Micheline Messler

  22. Tarek Says:

    Thanks a lot Alan,

    A super article.

    I need your help following the solutions though, I already answered yes to one or two of the questions and I felt I do nothing at work because work didn’t want anything to be done at.

    I made a big move and moved to another city which I don’t like very much but I was sure and was right that the career options here are much better than my previous ones, and the operational experiences I meet in my everyday situations are much diverse and more complicated.

    Now I’m facing a problem with my own efficiency, it’s like a full HR system is needed from scratch, and I know that I can do it since it’s a small company but can’t get my head around starting and finishing it!

  23. Alan Says:

    Tarek, the best advice I’ve ever heard in similar situations is to “eat an elephant one bite at a time”…or break this huge task into small, doable bites and reward yourself for accomplishing each bite. Be well. Alan.

  24. Nagendra Prasad Says:

    Thank you. Great article! Very helpful information.

  25. Diana Onimu Says:

    Well put – very informative! Thanks

  26. Sharon Says:

    Very insightful. We all should have a plan B. We become comfortable in our positions and the rug is pulled out from under you. I never really realized the importance of a mentor and a sponsor to promote you within your organization and in your career.