8 Second Careers For An HR Professional To Consider

8 Second Careers For An HR Professional To Consider
Last Updated: June 5, 2024

    Whats Inside?

  1. Conclusion

The world of work is continuously evolving, with many HR professionals finding themselves at a crossroads, seeking new challenges and career paths. The skills developed in HR roles - empathy, communication, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of organizational dynamics - are highly transferable, opening doors to a variety of second careers. 

This article explores eight compelling career options for HR professionals considering a switch, focusing on roles that benefit from their unique skill set. Let’s take a look.

1. Career Coach

For HR professionals looking to make a direct impact on individual career paths, transitioning to a career coach is a natural step. In this role, you can guide individuals toward achieving their career goals, a deeply satisfying pursuit. 

Leveraging your understanding of talent management, you'll help clients navigate career challenges, develop professional skills, and make strategic career moves. While additional certifications in coaching could enhance your credibility, your experience in HR provides a strong foundation. This role allows you to continue fostering personal development, but on a more individualized level, making every success story a personal triumph.

2. Nursing


With a growing demand for healthcare professionals, especially nurses, HR professionals can consider a career switch to nursing. Nursing requires empathy, excellent communication, and organizational skills – strengths inherent in seasoned HR professionals. 

Transitioning to nursing will require additional training or education, but the reward lies in the ability to make a tangible difference in people's lives daily. As a nurse, your HR background will be invaluable in managing patient care, communicating effectively with medical teams, and navigating the complexities of the healthcare system.

3. Corporate Trainer

HR professionals possess a wealth of knowledge about employee development and organizational culture, making a transition to a corporate trainer a seamless one. In this role, you'd be responsible for developing and delivering training programs tailored to a company's needs. 

The creativity involved in designing engaging programs that resonate with diverse audiences can be immensely rewarding. Beyond just imparting knowledge, as a corporate trainer, you have the opportunity to shape the professional growth of individuals and impact organizational success directly. Your HR experience provides a unique perspective, enabling you to create training that is not only informative but also deeply aligned with the company's goals and values.

4. Non-Profit Organization Manager

The non-profit sector offers HR professionals a chance to channel their skills into meaningful causes. As a manager in a non-profit organization, you'll utilize your expertise in people management, resource allocation, and strategic planning. The role might involve overseeing daily operations, developing strategies to increase organizational impact, or managing a team dedicated to a specific cause. This role also provides an opportunity to express your creativity and develop innovative approaches, such as exploring creative fundraising ideas to secure necessary resources. Using these skills can help your organization achieve its mission and make a tangible difference in the community.

The shift from a corporate HR role to a non-profit setting can be refreshing and fulfilling, offering a sense of purpose that comes from contributing to societal improvement.

5. Human Resources Consultant

As a Human Resources Consultant, you have the opportunity to apply your HR expertise across various industries, addressing a wide range of organizational challenges. This role is perfect for those who thrive on diversity and flexibility. You'll engage with different companies, diagnosing their HR-related issues and providing tailored strategies. This could range from developing better recruitment processes to implementing effective employee retention programs. 

The consultancy path not only offers potentially higher earnings but also allows you to specialize in areas of HR that you are most passionate about, such as talent management, organizational development, or diversity and inclusion. 

6. Mediator or Conflict Resolver

Conflict resolution is a crucial skill in HR, and it translates exceptionally well into a career as a Mediator or Conflict Resolver. This path is especially suitable for those who excel in navigating workplace disputes and fostering harmonious environments. 

In this role, you might work within legal settings, helping to resolve disputes before they escalate to court or within organizations managing internal conflicts. Your ability to understand different perspectives, coupled with your experience in finding mutually beneficial solutions, makes you an ideal candidate for this role. While additional certifications in mediation might be necessary, the transition can be smooth, given your background in handling sensitive HR issues.

7. Recruitment Specialist or Headhunter

Specializing in recruitment offers an exciting career path for HR professionals. As a Recruitment Specialist or Headhunter, your focus shifts to the specific aspect of matching the right candidates with the right roles. This career is particularly rewarding for those who enjoy the hiring process and have a knack for identifying talent. 

Working in recruitment, whether independently or with an agency, allows you to build strong networks and develop deeper insights into various industries. Your background in HR gives you a unique perspective on what makes a successful candidate and how to align talent with organizational needs effectively. Plus, the satisfaction of helping individuals find their ideal jobs and companies find their ideal employees is immensely gratifying.

8. Employee Relations Manager

An Employee Relations Manager specializes in nurturing the relationship between an organization and its employees. This role is perfect for HR professionals who are passionate about improving workplace culture and employee engagement. In this capacity, you'll be instrumental in developing policies and strategies that promote a positive working environment, thereby enhancing overall productivity and job satisfaction. 

Your HR experience equips you with the skills to handle employee grievances, foster open communication, and create an inclusive workplace culture. The impact you can make in this role is significant, as you directly contribute to the well-being and success of both employees and the organization.


The journey from an HR professional to a new career path is filled with exciting possibilities. The skills you've honed in HR – empathy, communication, strategic planning, and understanding of organizational dynamics – are incredibly versatile, opening doors to a range of fulfilling second careers. 

Whether it's providing expert advice as a consultant, resolving conflicts, specializing in recruitment, or managing employee relations, each path offers a unique way to leverage your HR skills in a fresh context. As you consider these opportunities, reflect on your passions and strengths and how they can translate into a new, rewarding career.

Cindy Baker
Editorial Team
The editorial team behind is a group of dedicated HR professionals, writers, and industry experts committed to providing valuable insights and knowledge to empower HR practitioners and professionals. With a deep understanding of the ever-evolving HR landscape, our team strives to deliver engaging and informative articles that tackle the latest trends, challenges, and best practices in the field.

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