HR Doesn’t Just Mean the Office: Unexpected HR Jobs

For many who study human resources and communication with the goal of becoming a human resources professional the assumption tends to be that your career will begin and end in a business office space. Many young professionals assume they will be working for CEOs, business representatives, and their employees. However, nearly every industry has great need for human resource professionals; meaning nearly endless opportunities to work within an industry that piques your interest. Some may even come as a complete surprise.

HR Doesn’t Just Mean the Office: Unexpected HR Jobs

Living for the Game

There are hundreds of thousands of sports fans in the US today that would give nearly anything to have the opportunity to have a job that related their favorite game. The majority of them wouldn’t ever consider human resources as a means of doing so. But HR professionals are vital to the success of any large sports organization from prominent clubs all the way up to the most professional leagues.

Within athletics, HR professionals address many administrative tasks such as job postings, completing contracts, and keeping everybody involved in the organization up to date on rules and regulations. It is likely that they will also become involved in negotiations over employee and athlete salaries as well. In many cases, HR representatives are highly valued for their ability to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes so the game can go on.

A Fermenting Business?

Often times, HR professionals can be found scattered throughout a number of small local businesses as well. Each of these has its own unique business profile and goals. As they continue to grow and take on new employees, they may need to hire an HR professional to help the business succeed by communicating with employees and acting as a resource to the company.

One example of this throughout the country is within the craft beer industry, which has ballooned over the past decade from nearly non-existent to over twelve percent of the US beer market. As many of these local garage-based brewers gain popularity, open their first tap house, and begin distributing their craft regionally you can bet they are looking for a qualified HR representative to help them manage the transition. HR professionals in the brewing industry help to develop brewer safety plans in addition to tasks such as job postings, company trainings, and resolving conflicts.

Working for the Great Outdoors

Another way in which to connect human resources work with a hobby is by working within a outdoor or natural resources niche. One of the prime targets for these types of positions is within the state for federal government natural resources entities. On a federal level this can include departments such as the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and so on.

Often times, professionals within these fields help to coordinate employees over vast areas and differing land management regimes. Because of the summer field season involved in natural resources, these jobs offer a lot of experience with short-term hiring procedures and meeting state and federal job requirements. As many of these positions have nationwide reach, this type of position offers the ability to gain a lot of experience working with different people and backgrounds over a wide array of different human resource procedures.


Human resource professionals have a unique opportunity to connect hobbies indirectly to their careers. They can work in a huge number of differing industries ranging from business enterprises, to sporting organizations, to federal natural resource departments. Taking a look beyond what many see as the obvious human resource career trajectory can be a huge opportunity to explore a variety of HR settings.

Brittni Brown

Brittni Brown is a current Masters candidate at the University of Idaho. In her free time, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including biking, hiking, and camping.


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