Not long ago, I got this really interesting question from a reader:
I’m currently working in sales and marketing but I’m not happy because the pressure is very bad in this field. I’m thinking of taking a course in HR and making this my career. I already have a degree in hotel management. So I thought after completing an HR course I might be able to get a good opportunity in hotel human resources. Please help me out.
The first time I read this post, my initial thought was to direct the reader toward some things I’ve written in the past about transitioning into a human resources career. And you can find those here, here, here, and here.
But after thinking about it, I wanted to take a moment to discuss “pressure.” I understand there’s a lot of pressure being responsible for sales. As a consultant, I’m responsible for my own sales. Trust me, there’s pressure. But please don’t misinterpret that to mean there’s no pressure in human resources. Because that’s simply not true.
Every job has an element of pressure. Every. Single. One.
When I worked at the airline, I remember an employee telling me the only job worse than mine was the manager who handled missing luggage. Talk about a depressing comparison. But it’s easy to see the pressures associated with both positions.
In my experience, much of the pressure I’ve dealt with as a human resources professional surrounds things I knew but couldn’t tell anyone. For example, the time my boss called and told me we were doing a layoff the week between Christmas and New Year’s. That was awful. Or the time I told an employee who had just got back from their honeymoon his position was being eliminated. We eventually brought him back, only to eliminate his position a second time right after he found out his wife was pregnant.
Or there’s the time…oh nevermind, I’m sure you get my point. Being in HR has its own kind of pressure.
For anyone looking to make a career change, it’s important to understand the pressure associated with the position. I’d argue there are different kinds of work pressure. Make sure you’re capable of handling the kind of pressure required for the job. I know plenty of people who would take the pressure of sales over the pressure of HR any day. And vice versa.
Lastly when it comes to working in hotels, I must say I’ve never worked for a hotel in my life where every employee wasn’t a de facto member of the sales department. Meaning we all needed to remember that guests were the reason we got a paycheck. I don’t believe that’s a philosophy exclusive to just hotels. Successful companies understand that first and foremost you must have customers. Without them, you have no business.
How do you handle the pressure of your job? Leave us a note in the comments.
Image courtesy of Nancy Newell