Whether it’s helping a new hire navigate an unfamiliar system or counseling a team member through the loss of their job, HR pros are on their toes. They need to be ready for anything—which is why many choose to make it their career.
Is HR a Stressful Profession?
Despite being at the forefront of workplace issues, it’s no surprise that HR leaders experience high levels of stress. According to a People Management poll of 641 individuals, more than half of HR professionals feel overwhelmed by work at least once a month.
The profession is also on the frontline of employee problem-solving, so it’s a place where you often encounter thorny situations that require creative thinking and quick solutions from this page. It’s a big part of the appeal for those drawn to HR, and it can be incredibly satisfying when you help employees smooth out organizational kinks before they become major knots.
But the reality is that dealing with constant challenges and dispensing bad news can take a toll. And that’s especially true during tumultuous times, like the coronavirus pandemic when HR was responsible for letting people go and keeping everyone safe.
While it’s no secret that working in HR is challenging, experts agree that there are ways to manage the stress. One suggestion is to look to other professions for guidance. Rutgers University professor Cary Cherniss has studied career burnout among other social services workers, including mental health professionals, teachers and poverty lawyers, and he believes there are similarities between their struggles and those of HR professionals.