Best industry to work In? Your thoughts.


| 20 Posts

Chartered Member

30 Jun, 2014 15:12

I have worked across a range of industries during my HR career, from the automotive industry to facilities management. My experiences have been very different in each, some interesting and rewarding, others not so.


Id be really interested in hearing the communities thoughts as to the most interesting and rewarding industries/sectors or types of companies to work for as a HR member of staff.



  • Keith

    | 10642 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    30 Jun, 2014 17:08

    Sorry I dont really understand the question :-)  and am certain it has no real answer.

    I have worked for multi-nationals down to a relatively small privately owned business. From Venture capitalist backed to blue chip Plc s. From Finance, through leisure, retailing, utilities, technology and now healthcare.

    All have been challenging and interesting in theit own ways.Each has given me opportunities and development. At the end of the day the one thing they had in common was employing people which whatever teh sector creates its own challenges.

  • David Perry

    | 5098 Posts

    Chartered Member

    30 Jun, 2014 20:17

    The most interesting?  Doesn't that depend on what you personally are interested in and to some extent what the job entails?


    I think you've asked a rather subjective question Terry to which there no promise of an objective answer if that is what you were after. 

  • David

    | 20960 Posts

    Chartered Member

    30 Jun, 2014 21:06

    Hi Terry

    I do empathise with your question, which I think is quite profound, and  relates to 'what it's all about??'

    I always considered  myself highly-privileged that I was working for a worthwhile purpose, thinking that the purpose of eg   helping sell more confectionery bars to people who didn't really need them  or tins of overpriced / overadvertised petfood to pet owners who didn't really need it wasn't all that worthwhile to contemplate, in the scheme of things, whilst I ended up (fortunately) helping to make railway track for the world's railways  and steelmaking plant for the world's steel industry and to look after  apprentice training opportunities for young people in my locality.

    All this really did add considerably to job satisfaction and  made me feel that the ultimate purpose of my labours was something to be proud of / of value to Society, and it made all the mundane HR-hassle and politics a means to a meaningful and useful end and on occasions helped preserve my sanity.

    But It's whatever turns you on, motivationally, I think and different people get turned-on by very different things.........


  • David

    | 20960 Posts

    Chartered Member

    1 Jul, 2014 08:53

    Just to try and expand, with necessarily-personal and rambling reminiscence: I was probably brainwashed by the ethos which included community singing of this song every morning  at school. Maybe an archaic / outmoded thing to do these days, but, interestingly, don't  modern and successful Japanese -run factories etc instil group loyalty (engagement?) by similar means and get applauded for it?

    Terry's question was specifically asking about the 'best' industries or sectors to work for in HR. As others have observed, in a way *all* workplaces can be run along the lines of 'we're all in the same boat, so let's all pull on the oars together towards the place we all want to reach'' lines, but isn't it a lot easier to do this if you're involved in making widgets essential to mankind rather than it is eg working for a bunch of loan sharks or property speculators and the like?

    And I don't think it matters much whether one is working in HR or wherever : if everyone in the organisation is indeed fully-engaged and happy (essentially)  in their work and united in a common purpose, then whether one is the HR Manager or the janitor in a way doesn't matter.

    The problem with modern life I suppose is that most workplaces are now some kind of 'service industries' - so far removed from any obvious benefit to mankind that it's almost impossible to see. And the focus on the individual in fierce competition and the loss of any spiritual direction to most human endeavours. Mrs Thatcher was unfairly misquoted when she proclaimed that there's no such thing as Society, but this kind of spiritually and socially-bankrupt attitude to life seems to be the general rule these days.

    Anyhow, that song: think someone would need to be some kind of totally insensitive cabbage or robot for some of the sentiment etc not to rub-off and remain with one to shape job choices and job satisfaction in working life:

    The Workington Grammar School Song
    (by HD Rawnsley) Tune: US Navy Hymn 

    Where Cuthbert's body sought the sea
    And Scottish Mary sought the land,
    As glad as Derwent flowing free
    We boys and girls are hand in hand,*
    All vowed to seek from early youth
    The Sea of Knowledge, Land of Truth.

    We are but young, but we shall grow
    To be the helpers of our time,
    If adding to whate'er we know
    We feel that knowing less is crime,*
    And strive with heart and soul awake
    To work for Cumberland's dear sake.

    There, free from slag, by flame refined,
    The red-hot streams of metal pour,
    Here, warmed with zeal, afire of mind
    We smelt for use eternal ore-
    The gold of purpose sought and won
    In this fair School of Workington.**

    Flow Derwent flow, rise Solway rise,
    Ye but obey a higher rule,
    And we who would be true and wise
    Obedient to the law of school*
    Must learn on earth, in Heaven above,
    That wisdom's noblest law is love.

    (The author, Canon Rawnsley, was amongst a lot of other things a clergyman in Keswick, and Founder of today's National Trust)

    If there are any more 'Old Wyrekentonians' tuned into these Communities, would be pleased to hear from some auld marras.
  • Robey

    | 1585 Posts

    Chartered Member

    1 Jul, 2014 10:59

    I doubt my experience has been as broad as many of my colleagues, but in terms of being valuable, respected, fascinating, rewarding, useful and endlessly interesting, the Armed Forces are hard to beat.

    I'd be a fool not to recognize that some in the military have a miserable time, but that is invariably a result of the people with whom have to work.  The work itself and the environment within which it is performed is still rewarding and interesting.

  • Terry

    | 20 Posts

    Chartered Member

    1 Jul, 2014 13:35

    Thanks everyone, particularly David Boyd, can say it’s a hymn I am familiar with but thanks for sharing J !


    Some great insights. I actually work in the military sector and agree with you Robey that it has been one of the more enjoyable, interesting and fulfilling environments I have had the pleasure of working in.


    I was feeling in a rather reflective mood yesterday and being quite early on in my HR career I just wondered what life was like for fellow practitioners in other industries.  


    Indeed……..’what’s it all about’ ……….! I am, however, still waiting to find a Company that treats the HR population as gods where we are fanned down and feds grapes and other delicacies.


    If anyone finds the holy grail please let me know ;)

  • David Perry

    | 5098 Posts

    Chartered Member

    1 Jul, 2014 15:12

    I suppose for many, and certainly me, it's not been the industry or sector that I've been in thats really mattered or made the job better or worse.

    For me Its been down to how I was managed and how much influence I had over what I did and how much involvement I had in the day to day running of whatever enterprise it was. 

  • David

    | 20960 Posts

    Chartered Member

    1 Jul, 2014 17:45

    Hi Robey

     Thought about the armed forces, in context of my last post, where at least the common purpose etc is still abundantly clear to everyone involved. Was more than impressed eg at time of Falklands with how they achieved the impossible with all the logistics and got on with the job so expertly when they got there. Industry and commerce has a lot to learn from the UK armed forces, I think.

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