Getting Outside of Your Work. Right Into Your Own Backyard.

I read. A lot.

Every now and then I come across something that causes me to stop, think, reflect,and wonder- even when reflection was the last thing on my mind.

The culprit this time was Kris Dunn. In his post, How a Sucky Economy Makes a Professional Identity Outside of the Workplace More Important, Kris says,

"Don't let your job define you as a professional. . .be involved in conversations relevant to your profession outside of your work. . . use social media, write, get involved in local and regional organizations, volunteer, etc. - all with the goal of establishing a professional identity outside of work."

Geesh. Thanks Kris.

Getting Outside of Work

Getting outside of work is real challenge for me considering I never leave the office.I begin to "do" as soon as I get into work and do not stop until I leave. I am a train moving forward picking off tasks, issues and problems as they come,never taking the time to get outside.This way of being makes for a very small world (and a very conflicted, often crabby,Lisa).

I started a blog a few years ago to branch out.Beginning With absolute anonymity, Progressed to having my name and picture on the front page. I discovered I enjoyed writing. I added a blog roll, linked to blogs, and joined an HR social network. I began to broaden my reach.

Broadening the Reach

In November 2008, I (finally) joined the conversation on Twitter and set up a Facebook page for friends and family.While the initial rush was all consuming (read: dreaming in 140 character sound bites) I am better able to balance the rush while continuing to connect with others at my own pace. I consider myself fortunate to now know the people I do and am honored to call some friends.

I follow coast to coast,across time zones and in many zip codes. The one zip code I am missing, however,is my own.The local SHRM chapter is Central Minnesota SHRM and I am not connected to the members of my local HR community.

Bringing it Back Home

When I recently heard the President of CHSHRM was establishing a LinkedIn group, I was one of the first to sign up. Soon after, I invited members of the group to connect with me on Twitter. Ever have a party and worry no one would come? Well, that's what happened to me.I invited CMSHRM members to connect with me on Twitter and no one took me up on my offer.Not one. Hmmm.Why would they?

I have not been to a state conference or a monthly membership meeting in over 6 years. I look forward to attending the Christmas Party each year, but never seem to get there. Quite simply, I am not getting it done locally.

Getting it Done

Like the person in Jason Seiden's post, "While y'all are chatting, I'm gettin' it done." Surprise! That's a career ender" who works without getting to know his colleagues, I am working without taking the time to get to know my local HR colleagues. I am not making the time to build professional relationships locally nor have I Developed any local social capital to make an impact -but I can make a difference.

The CMSHRM LinkedIn group is growing. I invited a few members to connect with me and will invite more (maybe all!). I searched Twitter locally but did not find the statistical 3% of HR professionals that should be on.I will get it done with the other 97%, face to face, beginning at the May membership meeting.

I will get it done right in my own backyard- one hello at a time.


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