Networking Importance

This week, I get to be at the world’s largest human resources conference – the SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago.  One friend calls this HR Christmas, and that is really true.  I get to see a lot of my HR friends and meet so many new friends.  It’s the best!

This brings me to my point and one that Jon Thurmond and Wendy Dailey preach on their #HRSocialHour podcast – networking is essential to being great at your job.  Between my morning messages with some employment attorneys (and a super cool HR lady and a snazzy forensic accountant) to regular tweetchat and direct messages all over the country, I have a community to bounce ideas off of, get a cautionary tale, or get told I’m way off track in my thinking or strategry.  If I didn’t have a network, I wouldn’t be able to do my job.

I mean that.  As a solo practitioner, I get to talk to myself all day.  But I’ll only get one perspective.  I do a better job for my clients when I’ve tapped my network for help getting out a conundrum.  As HR pros, we don’t operate in our own vacuums.  Yes, each employer is different, but another company’s experience with a particular tactic, strategy, or technology is helpful when you need to make a decision.  As an attorney, I talk with other attorneys – without violating privilege – to see if holes crop up in my argument or policy. My network is a saving grace.

One other point:  I truly dislike networking events.  I’m not the extrovert that I appear.  So, I’ve built a network over social media, over email, over coffee, over lunch, and through my work.  I avoid networking happy hours with a passion.  So building a network can happen even if you don’t like these events. You can do it.

Thank you to my network.  You all mean a lot to me!  Much appreciation and gratitude to all of you!

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Special thank you to Mitchell Hamline School of Law for sending me!  I’ve met lots of potential students!  And, thank you to SHRM and the social team for letting me hang out with my friends the blogger’s lounge and at the conference.

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