This week has been challenging. I’ve felt a little frustrated, very stressed and super emotional. However, I’m not going to witter on about that. Instead I’ve thought of something positive to share with you all!
I haven’t written about this yet but a number of weeks ago I went to the Northern Area Partnership CIPD conference. It was a great two days because I had time to learn, network, have fun and feel part of a community of like-minded professional people. However, I’ll admit I did go along feeling a sense of uncertainty mainly due to the fact I was going alone and only knew of one other person I had met before.
Now I’ve said in previous blogs, I’m a fairly confident person; I love people. (I guess I’m in the right profession!) I love meeting new people and I enjoy feeling part of a community, yet still I’m no different to many people and this kind of scenario can make me feel slightly uneasy. I really shouldn’t have been worried though, and didn’t feel as if I was in a room of strangers at any point.
Now here comes the link to my love of social media. I really am a fan. Both in my personal and professional life. From Instagram, to G+ and Twitter to Snapchat you name it I use it! I have increased my Twitter useage for lots of HR related stuff, as a source of opinion, information and connecting it’s been fantastic. Now imagine you turn up to a conference where you think you know one person and actually there are heaps of people you know. You’ve not actually met them in person but you know them from social media. So this happened to me well over ten times over the course of the two days. I actually knew more people than I thought; Twitter was a great opening conversation at the least and it has reaffirmed in my mind how valuable social media can be when used in the right way.
I also mentioned feeling part of a community earlier, community is important to me. Since the age of 10 I have been part of choirs. Singing has given me a lot of life skills actually, from the obvious technical skills such as breathing correctly and control to the less obvious ones such as building confidence, meeting people from all walks of life and just giving me many many exciting opportunities. Singing gives me that sense of community – a belonging, a shared goal and common purpose. Being part of an HR community is actually very similar. Both things have transferable skills with each other too, be it controlling your breath when presenting or maintaining good eye contact when singing.
The last thing I wanted to mention which resonated with me at the conference was delivered by our after dinner speaker. Her name was Joy Marsden. She spoke about the importance of having an identity that isn’t simply related to your job title. Now that hit me right in the face, that was exactly me. For years I have been Laura “John Lewis Partnership” Moughton. That’s why the redundancy announcement hit me hard. For the last four months though, I’ve been trying to reconnect with who I am without the JLP bit. It’s been challenging for me and still is some days, yet at the core of Joy’s speech she focussed on a simple message: Regardless of what you are facing, step up, step out and stand out.
I feel fortunate that I got to hear Joy present. She helped me have a giggle at my own expense, understand that I’m not alone and focus on a bright future.
Here’s to a great weekend, my MacBook doing what I need it to and a shiny bright future.
The impact you have on others is determined by who you are – Joy Marsden
Love Laura x