African American human resources professionals who are excelling at the pinnacle of an ever more critical and complex function, the payoff is a deep sense of satisfaction that they are engaged in work that makes a difference. “I don’t know of any other resource that a company can focus on that will have more direct impact on its overall success or failure,” concludes Taylor.
TOOLS FOR CAREERS IN HUMAN RESOURCES
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the Occupational Outlook Handbook annually. See its “Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Managers and Specialists” entry for detailed, up-to-date information about human resources careers, outlook, and required qualifications (www.bls.gov/oco/ocos021.htm).
The Society for Human Resource Management provides an impressive wealth of resources and state-of-the-art research and support tools (www.shrm.org).
The Human Resources Certification Institute, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management, oversees and administers programs and examinations leading to certification as a professional in human resources, a global professional in human resources, or a senior professional in human resources (www.hrci.org).
The National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (www.naaahr.org) and the Black Human Resources Network (www.bhrn.org) provide networking, mentoring, and professional development custom-tailored to the needs of black human resources professionals.
WetFeet is an industry and career research resource that publishes insider guides about a host of careers, industries, and specific companies. Its “Insider Guide to Careers in Human Resources” provides a wealth of statistics, commentary, and advice about breaking into and succeeding in the field (www.wetfeet.com).
Jackson’s Power Moves
|Sears, Roebuck & Co.
|Jackson joins Sears as a merchandising intern in 1970. She rotates into a human resources job and then back to merchandising. Jackson requests a human resources assignment but leaves when Sears insists that she remain in a merchandising/marketing track.|
|Jackson takes a lesser title for a human resources job at Avon, where she begins in executive recruiting. She is given increasing responsibilities in employee relations and then in generalist roles. Jackson is sent to Harvard Business School for 26 weeks, where she earns a management development certificate. She is promoted to vice president of international human resources. Jackson takes 26 trips to Japan in four years as she handles a large IPO. She also travels to Brazil, the U.K., and Mexico while she receives extensive development in the areas of international human resources, succession planning, and compensation. Jackson is promoted to the No. 1 person in Avon’s domestic human resources division.|
|Burger King Corp.
|Jackson leaves Avon for the No. 1 human resources job: senior vice president of worldwide human resources. She partners with the CEO and senior team to successfully re-engineer the business and execute a turnaround in one year. Jackson learns the power of focus and managing major change.|
|Compaq Computer Corp.
|Jackson serves as the head of worldwide human resources. She is responsible for changing the