Human Resources: Cassandra’s Key to Chicago

Did you have a dream job growing up?  For Cassandra, the main character in The Rock Star’s Wife series, she doesn’t have a dream job, but a dream location – Chicago.  Any career she selected would simply be a means to an end, so she selected human resources.

Human resources is not an exciting career path, I know, but it fits the role that I need a job to fill.  Companies nationwide need HR people, so I won’t be stuck in a certain geographic area.  The pay is halfway decent, so I won’t be living in the slums.  – Sexual Awakening, Chapter 29

What is Human Resources aka HR?

One HR task is reviewing resumes
One HR task is reviewing resumes

HR departments are tasked with many jobs.  Among them are:

Employment: reviewing resumes, recruiting, hiring, training employees, performance management, firing.

Benefits: administering benefits.

Policy:  ensuring the company complies with labor laws and employment standards, keeping track of employee information, implementing employee processes.

“A well-managed HR department finds the right people for the job and does what it takes to keep them content and productive,” Coursera says.

Job skills needed to work in HR: computer literate, listening skills, communication skills, discretion, organization, analysis

University of Illinois

Cassandra studies at the University of Illinois.  The university does not have a bachelor degree in human resources.  Instead, she would have completed a Human Development & Family Studies degree in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.   HR is on the list of career possibilities with that degree.

Human Development & Family Studies “graduates go on to start careers in child care services, family life education, human services, pediatric services in hospitals, or business activities related to children or families,” the university’s website says. “Many continue their education in graduate or professional school, earning credentials needed to become counselors, occupational therapists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, physicians, attorneys, and more.”

In addition to education, job seekers may also need professional certificates such as the ones offered by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Career Outlook

“I have an interview.  In person this time.  They called a little while ago.  Assistant manager of human resources.  It’s up north, so they made arrangements to meet me on Saturday.  That puts extra pressure on me to be impressive since they went out of their way to be accommodating.” – Mr. Right is a Myth, Chapter 36

There are many types of jobs in HR.  Smaller companies may have one HR person while larger companies will have an entire HR department.  Here are the positions, as defined by Coursera:

Cassandra's first post-grad job is as a human resources assistant
Cassandra’s first post-grad job is as a human resources assistant

Human resources director: Supervise the HR department, oversee orientation and training programs, and monitor compliance with labor laws.

Employee relations manager: Help leaders build relationships with employees, address employee concerns, and resolve disputes between employees and company leadership.

Human resources generalist: Manage or oversee HR operations in small companies, including hiring and onboarding new employees, overseeing compensation and benefits, and maintaining compliance.

Human resources assistant: Support HR management with administrative tasks like recording information, processing documents, and communicating with applicants.

Labor relations specialist: Assist with the collective bargaining process, review data related to employee contracts, and oversee the grievance process.

Benefits administrator: Assist new employees as they select benefits and current employees when they update their selection.

Training and development specialist: Develop and conduct training programs for employees.

Recruiter: Find qualified candidates to fill open positions.

In 2001, the year Cassandra obtains her degree, HR assistants earned a median salary of $30,570, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Managers earned a median salary of $66,330.


What is the HR department like at your company?  Leave a comment below.  Comments close after 90 days.


Here’s the 4-1-1

Mr. Right is a Myth by Melina DrugaThis blog is a companion piece to The Rock Star’s Wife, a series about sex, family, and rock & roll.  The series has elements of chick lit, romance and erotica and is best compared to The Vagina Monologues for its frank talk of sex and its consequences.  The series follows Cassandra from her teenage years into her 40s as she navigates relationships (both romantic and platonic) — all with music playing a prominent roll.

Book two, Mr. Right is a Myth, debuts August 2023:  Co-ed Cassandra Economos has a plan.  Earn her degree then move into a Chicago penthouse.  If she can meet a guy who accepts her, high sex drive and all, that’s an added bonus.  But how many frogs must she kiss before she meets a prince?

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2 thoughts on “Human Resources: Cassandra’s Key to Chicago

  1. Articence says:

    Great information shared.. really enjoyed reading this post thank you author for sharing this post .. appreciated

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