This weekend I decided to get out of my normal writing environment and head down to a local coffee shop. It’s one of my favorites in Tulsa, because the employees are great and it overlooks Cherry Street. The owner is walking around cleaning up tables and making small talk. The barista knows every ones name that walks in the door and most likely their order. There is a strong sense of community in here, one that you don’t see very often. There isn’t any judgment on anyone that walks in; it’s a very soothing, welcoming environment.
This had me thinking back to the SHRM annual conference that just passed. I’m still coming off of the SHRM high and missing the hustle and bustle of being in Atlanta for 5 days.
HR is a tight community.
A community filled with professionals that are all over the country but gather at conferences to meet, learn and continue to build their relationships. Most of this community is non judgmental and welcoming. I heard a comment the other day from someone that said, “I was shocked by the casual dress code, crazy hairstyles, and tattoos at the conference. It was cool!” I think this shows that the traditional culture of conferences is changing. You no longer have to wear a suit to be the part. Yes some may not agree with it, but that’s their issue. Our society is slowly becoming more acceptant of the creative type, which expresses their artistic sense through their clothes, hair, or body art. I love it, personally. I love it even more when that person is smart and can talk HR (or whatever industry) like no one’s business.
It’s all about relationships.
I wonder sometimes how people go through work or life without taking chances and expressing their creativity in a way that is comfortable for them. For me, writing has opened more doors for my career than anything. Being able to write what I am passionate about, attend conferences and connect with people that I have built relationships with is amazing. I met some amazing people at SHRM and am so grateful for it.
If you are a job seeker, the best thing you can do is start to build your online community. Ramp up your social media sites; get involved in chats, blogs, and conversations. People want to help and meet other people. But it’s all about giving back too and helping others. Bring something valuable to the relationship and others will want to be around you!
Thank you to everyone I met at SHRM and built relationships with, it was truly amazing!