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If You Could Begin Your Career Again, What's the One Thing You Would Do Differently

January 27, 2000
Related Topics: Your HR Career, Featured Article
Responses from members as to what they would do differently if they could start their careers over.

"If I was starting my career over again, the one thing I would do would be to seek out an employment opportunity in HR that would provide me with international experience. The knowledge that would be gained from such an experience would be invaluable in today’s global workplace."

Gary Mearns
Superintendent of Human Resources
Saskatoon Public School Division
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


"I would not have entered the HR field and wasted so much time getting into a field that is such a 'clique.' HR people feel that they are above you because they have a job you would like and can use that power against you. I hired people for a very long time, and in five minutes I can tell if someone is right for the job. Today, you are expected to ask 20 questions and interview 10 people for one position. Then they need a second interview and sometimes a third one.

No wonder HR is having such a hard time filling job openings. It’s not worth my time to sit for a two-hour interview on two or three separate occasions, nor give one. No job is worth all that time and effort to only be told 'we’ll hold your r sum if something else comes up.' I don’t like telling people that after they have attended several interviews.

I would have earned my master’s degree in education, which I am going to do now. I like being home with my son and this will afford me the opportunity to be home by 3:00 p.m. and not 7:00 p.m. I will enjoy working 37 hours a week instead of 50 to 60."

Lorraine Territo
Former Assistant Branch Manager
Hi-Tec Associates, Inc.
Orlando, Florida


"I started at this company as a general clerk, but my experience from that job put me in the position I’m in now. It took me seven months as a general clerk to become an HRrepresentative. However, what I would have done differently is I would have gone to college to get my bachelor’s degree first."

Mona Cabello
HR Representative
Bob Siemon Designs
Costa Mesa, California


"I would have stepped out of my comfort zone earlier so that I could ensure that I was always growing and developing.

I started my career at a wonderful company and worked there a number of years. While I learned a lot and moved up quite rapidly, I reached a point at which new opportunities weren’t available. Not wanting to leave the company, I stayed on, hoping that a management spot would open. I finally realized that staying around was hurting my career so, while difficult, I decided to move on.

I’ve had amazing opportunities since then, and done things I never would’ve done if I stayed there. I realize now that I didn’t advance in my career as quickly as I should have because I stayed where it was comfortable for too long. I now have a commitment to myself that the minute opportunities for growth disappear, I will begin to look for new ones."

Julie Abell, PHR
Human Resources Manager
Diamond Bar, CA

What's the best thing you've learned from an employee? Send your answer, along with your name, title, company and location to Todd Raphael at and your answer may appear on or in Workforce magazine.

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