Waking up early in the morning has NEVER been a strong trait of mine … I don’t think I’ve ever had the trait a day in my life if we are being honest. That being said, on Sunday morning, I woke up at 2:30 a.m. and left my parents’ house in Birmingham, to start on my 5-hour journey to NOLA!
I was excited, I bumped my Beyonce’ music the entire way, and if you’ve read my blog, you know I love Beyonce’. These past few months, I got on Twitter, excited to share and learn and meet new people. Heck I created this blog around SHRM17, but when I pulled up in Nola and checked into my hotel room … I was absolutely and completely terrified to drive to the conference.
I mustered up the strength and drove to the conference, got into the building, the great volunteers helped me check in (they’re awesome, remember to thank them!), walked up the elevator and guess who’s the first person I see. The man that I was scared to meet because I thought my words would scramble and I would make no sense. The same man that said “Hey Jazmine” with a huge smile and came over to give me a huge hug … I’m sure that gave it away. Yup it was Steve Browne!
The first official person I meet from the twitter world welcomed me with open arms, you’d think all of my fears would have been immediately gone. Nope.
After attending the Young Professional/Student Orientation, I decided to get that courage again to go meet the SHRM17 Blog Squad. I walked in and immediately wanted to turn around. I felt like I was entering the world of the cool kids, and I was definitely NOT a cool kid. Then the NextChat Queen herself, Mary Kaylor, looked over and said, “Hi Jazmine”. SHRM has thousands of members, a great amount of us participate on SHRM NextChat every Wednesday, and she remembered me (faints). Then she starts introducing me to all of the members of the Blog Squad who were in the room. @CrossOverHR, @HRecruit, @JoeyVPriceHR, @akaBruno, @mikevandorvort, @DavidKovacovich, and @mfaulkner43, plus many more that I didn’t get to officially meet. They also welcomed me with open arms.
The introvert in me wanted to run out of every room and go hide back in my hotel, but that’s not why I came here, and we can’t allow our doubts to stop us from doing what we love. For me that love is HR, for you, it may be something else.
Next was the Keynote Speakers – Kat Cole … the speech that she gave was so good, I wanted to call my managers and company owners and have her give it to them directly. Sometimes you can’t really get everything that a speaker says, and that’s exactly how I feel about Kat Cole speech. If you missed that moment of her speaking, you missed a woman telling you how to fix your company problems, telling you how important true trust is within a company, how important it is to admit your wrongs. Also, please stop thinking that everyone needs a college degree to be great in their job, people are proving over and over again that the experience can win over a degree!
I finished my first day at SHRM17 eating dinner with the great SHRM members of Alabama. Having simple conversations of what we liked, what we expect to come, and the awesome stories every HR Pro must have at The Cresent City Brewhouse.
SHRM17 is a great opportunity and it can also be overwhelming if it’s your first time and/or by yourself. The HR Pros of SHRM do a great job to have multiple people in place to help you adjust, and areas to connect with others. My day 1 started out shaky because I almost stood in the way of meeting the great people that have embraced me in the world of HR.
Like Steve Gilliland said in the YP Orientation, “Find YOUR passion, and don’t let anyone take it away from you”
I look forward to day 2 and meeting the other SHRM17 attendees I tweet with daily.
Until Tomorrow …