HR means human resources, so it stands to reason that HR folks are people lovers. That is, they are extroverted, talkative, and draw their energy from being around others. The truth is, though, introverts can have successful careers in HR. The trick is to carefully choose (or create) your job.
HR Is Increasingly Digital
Across many spheres, digital communication has replaced in-person communications and telephone communications. You can do more HR tasks via computers and software programs. Take recruiting, for instance. It is one of the most vital HR tasks, and the potential of digital recruiting is huge. You could set up a website that accurately and comprehensively reflects what it is like to work at your company as well as explaining its employee expectations, and all the while, you’re not really stressing about excessive interactions with other folks.
Take what might have been a huge in-person training seminar on harassment 20 years ago. The HR professional might have had to give two presentations per day to various departments, and be exhausted by the end of the week. In this increasingly digital world, however, you can develop online modules that substitute for the in-person workshops or lighten the workload.
Sure, you might have to chat with people in various departments, but there is much room for independence and initiative. The most important thing is that you possess strong communications skills (to build them, learn more about USC’s communications degree options). As long as you have great skills and abilities such as organization and conflict management, the rest should fall into place.
Employees Need You
Are all of a company’s employees exactly the same? No, of course not. They’re a mix of diverse backgrounds. Likewise, HR professionals should not all be the same. They present a combination of strengths and weaknesses, and through wise usage and good team play, make the best of their abilities. In fact, Pat Wadors with LinkedIn is a proud introvert and a great HR professional.
One thing Wadors does is to play her strengths to her advantage. She also knows how to deal with her “weaknesses.” For example, she is fine working an event, but then she unwinds in her room instead of lingering.
Your Observation Skills Help
Sometimes, the folks who love people are so busy chatting up others that they fail to read body language, or they overlook the person in the corner back there. On the other hand, a quieter HR professional has the opportunity to put good observation skills to use. These professionals can study the dynamics of the cafeteria, for example, to see where most people tend to sit and for how long.
There Are Many HR Job Types
Job opportunities in HR are diverse, and you can find positions that are natural fits for your preferences and comfort levels. Extroverts might love traveling jobs where they go to a new place, say a new college campus, every week and recruit students. Introverts might prefer a job where they review applications and send the most promising ones up through the hierarchy.
You Can Pursue a Degree Online
Perhaps you enjoy learning online or at your own pace. The good news is that there are many places where you can earn online degrees. At USC, for example, you learn about delegating responsibilities, marketing through social media and traditional media, and how to intervene in workplace conflicts. You learn all this and more from the comfort of your home or the nearby coffee shop.
While HR may be a field dominated by folks who call themselves a people person, there is plenty of room for shyer people. In fact, they make HR more effective and efficient, and are necessary.