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5 Times You Should Go to Human Resources

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Most employees think a Human Resources Department does two things: hires and fires. But as a certified Human Resources professional, I’ve played many roles from career counselor to financial advisor to morale booster. Beyond tax forms and paperwork, your HR department can help you take charge of your finances and office relationships and even progress your career. {Click to Tweet}

Try some of these unfamiliar but valuable (and free) resources to help make your 9-to-5 more dynamic. Visit your HR department when you need:

1. Help Navigating Personal Challenges

HR helps navigate personal challenges, including stress, substance-abuse or divorce/family-related conflicts. Most organizations invest in outsourced or in-house licensed professionals to assist you. Not only will the HR staff give you personal help, they can also provide counseling for your family. These programs are confidential and often free to employees.

[Related: 5 Things Job Candidates Obsess Over but HR Doesn’t]

2. A Career GPS

Are you feeling stuck? If you have your eye on a certain position within your organization, HR can help. They’re familiar with the job and its requirements and can objectively assess whether you’re a good fit. They can also suggest ways to make yourself more marketable for a promotion or outline steps you should take to reach your career goals. Some departments even provide training resources or financial assistance. Just ask.

3. A Reliable Moderator

Conflict happens. In an ideal world, you’d work out any issues with coworkers at the departmental level, but sometimes that’s just not possible. If you’ve unsuccessfully attempted to resolve a problem or if a situation escalates beyond your abilities, call HR. Thanks to both formal training and firsthand experience, the staff can iron out differences and create a mutually beneficial plan for moving forward. {Click to Tweet}

[Related: What It Means to Be Politically Savvy in the Office]

4. Someone to Implement Your Bright Ideas

Coming up with plans to improve employee morale falls squarely on your HR team’s shoulders. As an employee on the front line, you know exactly what’s working well and what’s, well, not. If you have ideas on how to increase productivity or improve customer or employee satisfaction, ask your HR professional for a meeting.

5. A Matchmaker

Ok, not that kind of matchmaker. But whether you’re a new hire struggling to adjust to the company culture or mid-career but weighed down by new responsibilities, ask HR for advice. They can help ease your transition by finding you a formal or informal mentor–a well-suited coworker who can provide advice, support, or just a coffee break pick-me-up.

Regardless of where you are in your career, you’re a valuable resource at your company. It’s your HR Department’s role to support you through all phases, ensuring that you’re happy, taken care of, and properly engaged. Stop by.

This article was originally published on Career Contessa.

Photo: Start Up Stock/ Pexels

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