New to HR? Starting From the Bottom

new to hr? Here's how to start from the bottom

You succeeded in landing your first position in human resources. Perhaps you got all you desired, or perhaps you only needed a foot in the door. Whatever the case, it’s a chance that many HR professionals work hard to seize every day and should not be ignored.

If this is your first job in HR, you may have some office experience from your past, but this is an entirely new ballgame. Gaining the trust of the employees, your coworkers, the customers – all of these things will take time and patience. When it comes to entering any career, there are many “firsts.” Here are a few things you should make sure you take the time to do in the first few weeks and months of starting a new job. Although every job is different, getting to know the team you’ll be working with is essential. Never stop studying since you’ll always have paperwork, and never assume an opportunity won’t come up again. Spend some time getting to know the group, pace yourself, and prepare for the journey.

Get to Know Your Boss

Building a relationship with the person you’ll be directly reporting to early on is essential. You’ve already signed the job description, so you know your basic job’s duties, however sitting down that first week to go through it in detail will be helpful in the long run. For example, you understand that you’re in charge of background checks, but how often should you check in with your boss about them? What days does your boss normally have meetings out of the office and are they willing to support your dreams, i.e. joining your local SHRM chapter, attending conferences, schooling? What days are they expecting certain paperwork to be turned in? Look over your job description again and think hard about parts that may need a little more clarity.

Take On Every Opportunity

Your manager might assign you “busy work” or devise strategies to gauge how well you know particular subjects. Take it in stride; they are trying to get a sense of you just as much as you are trying to get a sense of them. My employer had never worked with an assistant prior to my hiring. She would occasionally seek for assistance from coworkers, but nobody else in the office had specific tasks or training beyond her. It took her some time to delegate tasks to me, but I was always ready to step up and solve the problem.


Within the upcoming month, you’ll learn a lot. Not only are you being introduced to HR responsibilities that you may have never performed before, but also a new employer. You, as HR, must comprehend the policies in place and their justifications. By reading this information, watching the videos, or carrying out some of the tasks yourself, you might learn more effectively. You must be aware of how you learn best and use that knowledge each time a new task is presented to you.


You might learn about benefits, workers’ compensation claims, insurance, employee engagement, retention, etc. in this position. You should make an effort to stay current with state laws and rules. Anything you can do to keep up with the changes in HR, including webinars, conferences, and day sessions.

Bring Solutions, Not Just Questions

Having questions is good and you’re going to have a lot of them when you start a new career in HR. It is also important that your boss and team know that you’re willing to bring solutions to problems that may arise. Although not all of them will be used, the fundamental benefit of speaking up is that it makes your voice heard. Make sure you’ve thought out the complete process, not just the initial step, if you’re going to propose these solutions to the organization.

Any new career journey is difficult to begin. No matter if you are completely new to this profession or have years of expertise but are joining a new organization, there are many things to be learned. As a new employee, you must keep in mind that the struggle didn’t end when you got the job; now is the time for you to show why you should have been chosen for the position rather than the other applicants.

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Jazmine Wilkes

Proud millennial human resource leader focused on sharing HR insights, learnings and resources. Sharer of memes. Author of HRJazzy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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