The Human Resource Professional's Career Guide: Building a Position of Strength / Edition 1

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Written by Jeanne Palmer, one of the superstars of HR recruiting and consulting, The Human Resource Professional’s Career Guide is the first ever comprehensive look at the choices, challenges, and rewards of building a life’s work in HR. Whether you are new to the field or you are wondering how to best leverage the value of all your experiences to make the next big career leap, this book gives you all the information you need to know to make smart career decisions. Based on Jeanne Palmer’s  30 years in HR, this book tells you how to

  • Acquire the essential qualifications and experience that executive recruiters and search committees look for
  •  Make the right choices today that will help spell success tomorrow
  •  Rise above past career missteps
  • Ace senior-level job interviews
  • Prepare yourself today for a future of opportunities you can’t even imagine
  • Be ready when your dream opportunity comes along
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
The Human Resource Professional’s Career Guide is like What Color is Your Parachute? for HR.”
—David Yakonich, project manager, Human Resource Competency Study, University of Michigan Business School

“Take charge of your career! This book provides clear and immediately actionable tools on how to go after your goals in HR. A must read for every career-oriented HR professional!”
—Libby Sartain, Chief People Yahoo,  Yahoo!, coauthor, HR From the Heart

“Miss reading this insightful and pivotal book and you will be missing out on a great job, defining your career your way, recovering brilliantly from any misstep, and being known as an A Player.”
—Sharon Winston, regional senior vice president, Lee Hecht Harrison

“The interviews are very powerful, because they represent very diverse views of successful folks who all got to the top in very different ways. They capture the types of conversations and life lesson insights that you usually only get with a good friend after a great diner and a glass of wine or two. ”
—MacGregor Burns, senior vice president, HR, Citi Cards

“Aspiring professionals will find this book helpful as a resource for guidance, advice, and insights into shaping a successful HR career.”
—Tiane Mitchell Gordon, director of diversity and inclusion, America Online, Inc.

“This book provides a unique focus on the human resources function, providing information and inspiration for those seeking guidance.”
—Cathy Sandeen, vice provost and dean, University of California Santa Cruz Extension

“Jeanne Palmer and Martha Finney offer us some excellent advice—perceptive, practical and professional!”
—Kenneth C. Moore, director of human resources and corporate ombudsman, KeySpan Corporation, and coauthor, The CEO and the Monk: One Company’s Journey to Profit and Purpose

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787973315
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/5/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeanne Palmer is president of The Palmer Advantage, Inc., which provides consulting and search services exclusively for HR. A lifelong HR professional, she has worked with major corporations including Cisco Systems, Genentech, National Semiconductor, Oracle, Palm, Polycom, the San Francisco Symphony, Veritas Software, and World Savings.

Martha I. Finney is a journalist specializing in HR and career management. Her column on HR career advice appears in HR Innovator magazine. She is also the coauthor of HR From the Heart: Inspiring Stories and Strategies for Building the People Side of Great Business.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Getting the Most from this Resource.

CHAPTER 1: “Yes” Is a Success That Doesn’t Happen by Accident.

Career Kitting.

Why Money Gets Left on the Table.

There Are Many Paths to the Top.

Sidebar: How to Break In.


INTERVIEW: Paul Bianchi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, PeopleSoft, Inc.

INTERVIEW: Susan Bowick, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Workforce Development, Hewlett-Packard Corporation.

CHAPTER 2: Every Choice Tells a Story.

Life Is Long; Your Options Are Many.

Your Three Basic HR Career Choices.

Sidebar: Why Do Non-HR Professionals Get the Top People Seat?


The Environment(s) in Which You Want to Work.

Human Resource Organizations.

Planning Your Career Path.

Don’t Let Your Past Get Away from You.

What Interviewers Will Be Listening For.


INTERVIEW: Mary Jean Connors, Senior Vice President, Knight Ridder.

CHAPTER 3: The Power of the Planned Transition.

Reasons for Your Next Change.

Take Care of the Path You’re On.

Take Care of the Path Going Forward.

Sidebar: Quick and Easy Steps You Can Take Today to Springboard Your HR Career.

Manage the Old Relationships After You Say Good-Bye.

Plan to Help Others as You Settle In.


INTERVIEW: Debra Engel, Former Senior Vice President, Human Resources, 3Com Corporation.

INTERVIEW: Eva Sage-Gavin, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Gap, Inc.

CHAPTER 4: “Hey, I Know Someone . . .”: How to Make the Market Come to You.

Your Circles of Influence.

Sidebar: Building Relationships That Make a Difference.

Now What?

Sidebar: How to Get Published.

How to Break into Completely Unknown Territory.

Now That You Have a Reputation, What Does It Say

About You?


INTERVIEW: Mary McLeod, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Charles Schwab & Co.

CHAPTER 5: Recover from Your Missteps.

1. The Wrong Fit.

2. Bad Timing.

3. Poor Judgment.

4. The Wrong Friends.

5. The Wrong Company.

6. Political Mistakes.

7. Inappropriate Age.

8. Derailing Priorities.

9. You Didn’t See the Handwriting on the Wall.

10. Your Reputation’s Ruined.

11. Move Too Fast or Move Too Slow.



INTERVIEW: Ann Rhoades, President, PeopleInk.

INTERVIEW: David Russo, President, Eno River Associates.

CHAPTER 6: Control What You Can; Let the Rest Go.

The Allure of the “A Player”.

Other Aspects Within Your Control.

Sidebar: What Every Leadership-Bound Résumé Should Have.

What You Can’t Change Overnight.


INTERVIEW: Audrey Boone Tillman, Senior Vice President and Director, Human Resources, AFLAC.

CHAPTER 7: The Interview Process: How to Handle the Hot Seat.

How the Interview Environment Changes.

Sidebar: Interview Questions Top Executives Are Asked.

How Will the Interviews Vary?

Do You Understand the Business?

Do You Understand Your Own Career Path?

They’ll Be Judging You on the Questions You Ask.

Sidebar: Essential Questions You Must Ask Recruiters.

The Fine Points of Managing Your Interview.

After the Interview.


The Offer Process.


Should You “Go for the Offer,” No Matter What?


INTERVIEW: Jim Wall, National Managing Director, Human Resources, Deloitte & Touche.

INTERVIEW: Sherry Whiteley, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Intuit.

CHAPTER 8: Prepare Yourself for a Future You Can’t Imagine Today.

Sidebar: Exit Strategy: How to Break Out.

Getting There.


Appendix A: Career Preparation Self-Assessment.

Appendix B: Certifications, Tools, Training, and Associations.


About the Authors.

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