Are professional memberships useful?

I'm 27, a graduate, and have worked widely in 'admin'. I've found the HR side of things to be of most interest and have recently been applying for the odd more senior role with HR in other organisations. I've not had much luck getting interviews so far. The only feedback I've managed to get was from someone who mentioned they were surprised I didn't belong to a professional organisation. Is this something I should look at? Most memberships seem expensive, when I've briefly looked.
lydiafairman's picture

Hi Phil, there's an expectation within the HR sector that you're professionally qualified. Typical route in is the CIPD although there are other business degrees and courses that are also recognised. There are various routes to get CIPD Associate (or above) status and it really is worthwhile. I worked in admin and support roles, and did my studies along side via distance learning. My employer at the time sponsored me, because of the value they recouped from my development. It gave me a strategic outlook on HR and helped me to understand how everything fits together. The course syllabus is always evolving, but it helps you to understand how HR directly underpins the business and can positively contribute. In addition to that, it helps people who want to work in HR to understand how to handle just about any situation that may come your way. There's a lot of theory, which I found interesting and insightful, understanding behaviour if you want to move up the ladder in that career is key. I did my course over a few years in modules, and if you want to get anywhere in the sector, you will need to undertake some studies, even if you need to start small. Membership fees can be paid monthly, so don't be too put off by the cost, you'll reap the benefits I'm sure. You'll also meet other HR professionals, and that for me is invaluable! You regularly need second opinions in this job, and people that can understand your challenges.
By lydiafairman --