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Catch My Breath

After being at #SHRM24 last week, I needed a minute to catch my breath. I got to hang with 26,000 of my closest friends in Chicago where we learned, connected, laughed and jammed out to Kelly Clarkson. The vibe was energizing. To be honest, it is surprising to see this many people gathering for the annual conference while breaking records year over year. It speaks to the need for engaging education and professional networking for practitioners across the globe.

We are meant to be hungry for more. We need to deepen our knowledge of compliance. We are to be challenged in talent strategies. We are to advance our understanding of workforce planning, organizational design and technological breakthroughs. We are to be stronger in these areas and more.

At any one breakout session block, there were no less than 25 options to meet practitioners where they are. Some sessions were transformatively advanced; some were tactically relevant. It is in a moment like this that we need to let people know it is okay to start where they are. We ought to be letting those emerging practitioners know it is understandable to not to know as much as we might assume they do. Truth be told, we may also need to speak similarly to those mid-level professionals. It’s not unusual for someone with five years of experience to miss what some of us may consider “the basics.”

Cultivating learning within our own discipline is a responsibility for all. Even if you are brand new to the work, you can be a champion for learning and encourage others around you to join in. Because of you and your efforts, you will likely foster a groundswell in your companies and in your local associations for continuing education. Be a leader for learning and find places where it happens.

The webinar circuit has been the strongest over these last few years. The pandemic pushed these online learning opportunities to the forefront of accessibility without compromising the areas of depth covered. And to do so with others made the learning better. The collaboration deepened understanding as well as the practice of the content delivered. We laid aside the Miss Independent or Mr. Know-It-All natures that many in the industry had in favor of an innovative group approach. We became each other’s cheerleaders for learning and practicing.

Events like last week are meant to foster our passion for education. It’s not too late. You are not already gone. Whether it’s your second year in human resources or it’s your thirty-second year, I dare you to reignite the fire of learning.

(By the way, how many Kelly Clarkson songs did you find in this blog?)

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