Supercharge Your HR Career

Supercharge Your HR Career


I was inspired to write this blog post after attending the recent SHRM-Atlanta Conference 2014 where I heard Tom Darrow, SPHR from Talent Connections, speak to a standing-room-only audience.

His topic was Managing Your Career in HR, and his presentation reminded me of the early years of my career with Federated Department Stores, when I found myself being asked to move into an HR role. That wasn’t part of my career roadmap at the time, but I accepted the lateral promotion to broaden my leadership perspective as I zigzagged my way toward a senior level executive role.

The experience taught me that regardless of how you chart your path, you need to constantly and consistently cultivate a dynamic and positive leadership mindset. That’s the essence of executive presence, which is arguably the most vital trait any leader can possess.

Here are my favorite tips for making that happen:

Be the CEO of Your Career Destiny

  • A research survey found that 3% of the graduates from a Harvard MBA class would up earning 10 times the amount of the other 97% of their classmates COMBINED.
  • What was the determining factor? Unlike their less successful peers, that 3% had specific written career goals.
  • To play your biggest game you need a game plan, because as the saying goes, “People who don’t just fail – they fail to plan.”

Shift Your Internal Mindset

  • Mindset management is vital, because everything we do and accomplish begins as an idea inside the mind.
  • Unfortunately most people are so externally focused that they never tap into the virtually unlimited capacity of the mind and subconscious self.
  • The greatest career obstacles for high potential leaders are actually self-imposed internal limitations. But once those deep-seeded fears and hesitations are removed and replaced through a positive internal shift, the sky’s the limit.

Elevate Your Executive Presence

  • Senior corporate decision makers report that executive presence accounts for more than 25% of a person’s advancement.
  • As an executive presence development coach I see evidence of that every day. The higher you ascend the more you will be scrutinized and evaluated as the face of your organization.
  • But companies actively seek to promote those who demonstrate powerful, polished presence that includes a professional image and brand, exceptional verbal/nonverbal communication skills, and exemplary behavior with poise under pressure.

These days organizations expect top leaders to hit the ground running. That means that if you want companies to invest in your career advancement you have to first show that you are fully invested in yourself. Lifetime learners are, after all, the top earners. So take full advantage of mentors, coaches, and role models who can stretch you beyond your comfort zone to expand your capability.

Dig deep. Uncover your uniquely authentic gifts, talents, and strengths. Building your brand around that genuine core will amp-up your confidence, tap into your energy and passion, and visibly radiate the special value you bring to the table.


Tell me what you think! Post a comment below in the blog or on Facebook!

Do you want to use this blog article? You may, as long as you include this complete bio with it: Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System. 1-800-267-3245 | Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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