Breakthrough Moments

#SHRM16 is just around the corner and I cannot describe how excited I am to reconnect with the best HR pros from across the country in DC this summer. As I study the schedule of speakers and topics this year I can’t help but revisit the theme of the conference, Breakthrough Moments. I think the theme is appropriate and it has me thinking back on some of the breakthrough moments I’ve already had in my career.

To prepare for the annual conference this year I thought I’d recap my top three breakthrough moments from previous annual conferences I’ve attended. I’m just a small town girl, working in HR in little ole Alabama and I really do believe that getting out of the state and to SHRM annual conference has helped me break barriers and create shining moments in my own HR career. Without further ado, here they are:

3) Maybe this one belongs higher on the list, but it’s definitely in the top 3. This one happened in Orlando at #SHRM14. We were hot in the midst of some drama about certifications and I put out a blog post defending my current certification that made me feel vulnerable. It was a two part post, but part one shared my secret so of course it received a little more attention. I was sitting in the bloggers lounge when my pal Ben mentioned the post and we just happened to be sitting across from Gerry Crispin who decided to go read the post. I don’t know Gerry well, but I know he knows recruiting well and I was just completely caught off guard that he would stop what he was doing, read my blog post, and tell me what he thought. It was encouraging. Then I started meeting people all over the conference that shared their stories with me on how they ended up in HR and if they did or did not have a degree or some other “basic qualification” that says we can or cannot do our jobs. It was a breakthrough moment for me because I needed to focus on the skills I had and what made me good at my job and stop letting an unchecked box hold me back.

2) This one happened when I attended a global level HR session with Joan Ginsberg and Heather Kinzie in Chicago at #SHRM13. I have nowhere near the experience and knowledge Joan and Heather have, but I adore them and it was the last day of the conference and honestly, I had not picked my sessions for that day so I tagged along with them. They were so kind to not be bothered by my following. As I sat in this session I couldn’t believe all of the things that an HR professional had to consider when their organization chose to go global. At my level I had not been exposed to global HR at all so this was like drinking from a fire hose for me. I was most intrigued with how the three of us that went into the session together all had completely different takeaways. I listened as Heather and Joan debated points that far exceeded my HR knowledge and I knew then that I had to dig in and learn some global HR. This was a breakthrough moment for me because it made me realize I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.

1.) This breakthrough moment is from Vegas, from the speaker I was least expecting it from: Mika Brzezinski. Don’t roll your eyes, but this is about salary. Hearing Mika say she found out that her male counterpart made 17 times the amount she did almost killed me. (I’m pretty sure that’s what almost induced a heart attack, but maybe it was the bacon). I’ve heard women comment on the glass ceiling and how women aren’t always treated the same as men, but basically wrote it off because I assumed those women were being sensitive to specific situations. My bad. Her story made me dig in and pay attention to what is really happening in the workforce when it comes to male vs female pay. He made seventeen times more than her!!!! Mercy…

As I continue to attend SHRM conferences in the future I’m sure this top three list will change, but as of today these are my top 3 breakthrough moments courtesy of previous annual SHRM conferences!

I’m looking forward to more breakthrough moments this year. Not just mine, but yours too! I can’t wait to see you all in DC!blogger badge

 

 

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The most bang for your conference buck!

I’m so thrilled to tell yall I’ll be at #ALSHRM16 this year!!!! <– all of those exclamation points should seal the deal. Why am I so excited? I’m so glad you asked!

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The Alabama SHRM State Conference was the first conference I ever attended. I was mesmerized by this huge group of professionals who worked in the same field I did. I didn’t know there were so many of us nor did I know there was a place close to me where we could all get together. I had the best time at the state conferences, but a few years ago I willingly gave them up. I was losing interest in the agendas and none of the keynotes caught my eye. The food and venue were becoming boring. The takeaways no longer relevant to where I was in my career etc., etc.. Until last year.

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Melissa and Bobbi, conference co-chairs

Last year a couple of HR professionals I know were conference co-chairs and I listened for months as they excitedly shared the agenda information, upgraded venue, fun events, great giveaways, time left for networking, etc. etc. I thought to myself, good for them! Somehow I landed a spot to speak on day one of the conference and decided to volunteer on day two of the conference so I could stick around and see what was happening. Y’all… this conference blew me away! The signage was so professional, the volunteers on their game, the keynotes knocking it out of the park. Bobbi and Melissa (conference co-chairs) really shook things up.

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Awesome and engaging volunteers

Guess what? They are at it again! They have an AMAZING line-up of speakers and topics to fit a variety of career level needs. In true HR fashion, day one will kick off with a much NEEDED legal update, followed by Marlin Smith presenting “Black Guy in the C-Suite,” and closing out with (what I know will be entertaining) “Generation Them,” from Kristin Scroggins. Tuesday night is also a great time to kick back with some of your new favorite HR Pros and have a good time.

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Wednesdays agenda takes it to the next level with opening keynote from Chuck Blakeman, lunch keynote from our dear friend Tim Sackett, and a closing keynote on HR improv! The concurrent sessions offer topics from background checks to strategic leadership.Some of the best vendors in the HR sphere will be there to meet with us in between these awesome sessions.

The ALSHRM group has done a wonderful job of putting together a conference that can meet the needs of many of our HR friends while bringing us a diverse group of speakers to challenge our thought process and encourage us to be the HR Super Hero we are all capable of being. I’m also excited that the conference provides 10.25 hours of recert credits for both of my HR certifications. Did I mention the conference is only $325 & it’s in a fun and growing area in Birmingham? Come check it out, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! http://bit.ly/1Q3JDPL