2017 was by the far the biggest year yet in my career (we’ll see if this year tops it!). I started my first role as an HR Generalist the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2016. Around this time I also started using Twitter as a professional/HR tool rather than a personal too. (By personal tool I mean I was solely posting about wedding planning, what I had bought at home goods, what I had eaten that day, etc) Even though the environment I was in as a generalist was really challenging for me – I’m just starting to realize how much I learned in that position. When you’re constantly working through challenges, it’s hard to pause and appreciate how much you’ve done and how much you’ve learned. Now that I’m back in recruitment, I can see how much more of a well-rounded HR pro I am than I was before. I’ve had multiple people with HR compliance questions reach out to me, and I was able to help! I realized I was able to help them because of what I had learned in my last role. I will forever be grateful for that learning experience, even as stressed as it made me.
I was using Twitter, and posting HR related one liners, but I didn’t have a following and I was still figuring out how to find people I wanted to follow and how hashtags worked. I’m thankful to Paul Lalonde (@HRPaul49) for being one of my first HR contacts on Twitter. We found each other in June. When I would post questions looking for advice, he would answer. I wanted to find more people like Paul. I found Jonathan Segal in July and started sharing his articles. I also found #nextchat and the #HRtribe in July, through Keith Enochs. Keith was another one of my first HR friends on Twitter. It feels like I’ve been part of this awesome community for a while, and it’s only been less than a year! I have learned and grown so much as an HR professional through my #HRtribe. I honestly don’t even know how I got through the first 7ish months as a generalist without this awesome group. For the first time I really had an HR community and people I knew would help me if I had a question. I also learned the importance of this online community in sharing information and advancing each other forward. It was so nice to feel like I wasn’t out on an island anymore!
By August, my Twitter had taken off. I was participating in a ton of Twitter chats, sharing articles, and was confident in posting my ideas. I also loved responding to others’ tweets. I felt like I had something to contribute. In November, I had a call one morning with Kelly Marinelli because I needed some inspiration to get through some trying times at work. I was so happy she had time to talk with me! She talked about ways to broaden my network and get involved with SHRM by contributing to the SHRM blog, joining the A team, being more involved with my local chapter, etc. I came away shocked at how many resources were out there that I didn’t know about. My local chapter doesn’t do a good job (in my opinion) talking about SHRM at the national level and all the opportunities there are to get involved with. I’m definitely involved with SHRM more at the national level and it’s still a goal of mine to become more connected to my local chapter.
In December, I discovered a few LinkedIn “content creators” who were posting videos and I thought this was so interesting. They were providing valuable inspiration and content to their network through video rather than traditional posts or articles. I had used LinkedIn pretty traditionally in the past – primarily for sharing articles and posting the open positions I was recruiting on. I reached out to a few of them and was surprised by how much encouragement and inspiration I received back. In January of this year, I finally had it in me to post my first LinkedIn video and start my blog. I was thrilled when Mary Kaylor wanted to use one of my posts on the SHRM blog.
I’m thankful for this journey I’m now on and can’t believe how much of an experience it has been. Social media has played such a big role in my growth, personally and professionally. It’s amazing how much support is out there if you put the effort in to connect and help others. It’s amazing how wonderful of a tool it is if we use it in the right way. I’m so glad to have been active on #nextchat and gotten to interact with Mary Kaylor – because when I got the email to be part of the #SHRM18Blogger Team, I couldn’t believe it. I was literally jumping for joy. It’s nice to be this excited about my career and where it’s headed. I’m finally at a point where I feel like I am giving back to the HR community and have valuable knowledge to share. For the first few years of my career I was head down in my work, learning as much as I could, and I let my job define who I was. Now that I have more experience, I realize the importance of making time for myself and what I enjoy – writing, connecting, networking, sharing, public speaking, volunteering, traveling. I believe my time should no longer be spent on just work alone, because the other pieces bring so much value to my life.
I’m a newbie to the annual #SHRM conference and the blogger team, so it’s sure to be a great time! I’m really looking forward to it and can’t thank everyone enough who has shared their experience from attending in the past. I’m ready to expand my world even more. SEE YOU IN CHICAGO!!