On June 23rd, Jon and I had the honor of speaking at the Emerging Professionals session at #SHRM19. Check out all the Tweets that others shared here. When we were asked, at first we wondered what on earth we could possibly talk about. And then, of course, it was clear, sharing with these emerging professionals, how we found our voice & how they can find theirs.
As the presentation came together, I thought about my own voice. I wrote a little about it earlier, but as I was thinking about the presentation, I want to highlight some parts I’m encouraging these leaders to think about & consider as they develop their own career.
Your current, past or even future title should not decide whether or not you should share your thoughts in the professional world. I used to think a title was the key. After all, people go to conferences, events to hear the “big names” right? You want to hear the CEO, CHRO talk about their experience, not the Generalist, the Employment Coordinator or the Talent Advisor, whatever those titles mean (hint: mostly recruiter). I used to think that without that fancy title, people wouldn’t want to hear what I have to say. Boy was I wrong! As I got active on social media and in Twitter chats, I found that people did want to hear what I had to contribute to the conversation. And, surprise suprise, I actually know what I’m talking about.
There are a wide variety of ways you can share your voice. You are not limited to speaking or blogging. You can contribute via social media, a vlog, a small group setting or even one on one. The hard part is figuring out what’s going to work for you. I enjoy blogging and sharing on Twitter. Those work for me. Your best way might be something different. (though I do want to see you on Twitter)
I think the most important thing to share is that the world of sharing information is not a zero sum arena. Your voice is needed. It took me some time to figure this out. I started by sharing on Twitter chats and getting to know people, and letting them get to know me. The Twitter format is/was great for me, allowing you to share short bits of information, “micro-blogging” and giving you time to think about your response. You can also take the time to figure out what you want to share. Everyone isn’t going to contribute to every conversation. You won’t see me talking about benefits or wellness programs. Those just aren’t in my wheelhouse. But they might be in yours. And I want to see you share those so I can learn more!
Each of us has a unique perspective on what you hear at a conference so you need to share it, in person or online. We need to share what we know people will agree with and what we fear they may disagree with because that’s how we grow as professionals AND as a profession. Please, share your thoughts, share your voice and go tell your story.