HR is a job that, if done right, affords a tremendous amount of work-life balance.
I’m not joking. If you lock down your client groups and implement a solid structure, you can come to work at 8:30 and leave at 5:00. You can take a lunch, too.
Yes, there are aspects of HR, such as recruiting, that take place outside of the normal 9-5 routine. However, the hours you work in human resources are only as chaotic and turbulent as you allow them to be.
Here are the three best jobs in HR for work-life balance.
A payroll specialist is a great job for moms and dads. It pays $18-20/hr and is pretty sweet. If you can do Excel and shop on the internet, you can do this job. It’s a deadline-driven job that requires you to show up, pay attention to detail, and use the computer. Then you go home. You don’t take your job home with you because, technically, you can’t. It’s all numbers, and it’s all confidential.
A corporate recruiting coordinator is like an administrative assistant with a better title. Pays about the same, too. Probably looking at $30K/year. You manage job openings and do a ton of administrative work that looks a lot like updating your Facebook status. When a candidate shows up for an interview, you may greet her at the door. You might do some travel logistics and offer letter management, which means phone calls and paperwork. Before someone starts, you check references and do the background check. That means working the fax machine, yo. It is the kind of job where they want a recent college graduate to bust her ass and learn the recruiting game. That’s dumb. The best recruiting coordinators are detail-oriented moms or people who used to work in customer service at hotels. And when they go home at night, these people go home.
HUMAN RESOURCES GENERALIST
A human resources generalist is a sweet gig if you have good clients. Yes, you’re a glorified project coordinator. Who cares? You can earn between $55,000-$120,000/year. That’s not a lie. Depends on the company and your geography. You work on a calendar that is built around an employee lifecycle. You keep an open door, you smile, and you say yes more than you say no. You get your work done through other people, and then you go home at night. I’m not joking. It is the best job in the world. You can walk out of your office at 5PM, catch the 5:20 train, and be home to watch Brian Williams. The tricky part is when someone wants to call this job a “Human Resources Business Partner.” That means more work without a bump in status or pay. Fight it. Be a generalist and spend time with your kids.
I have worked for some of the most demanding companies and leaders in America. The one thing that’s been true about my career: I’ve always had great work-life balance in human resources, and those three jobs are pretty sweet gigs with balance, a good pace, and lots of opportunities to grow.
Human resources! It’s not that bad!
Laurie Ruettimann is a former HR leader and an influential speaker, writer and marketing advisor. Her work has appeared in many mainstream print publications and major news media outlets. You can find her on twitter at @Lruettimann.