I recently returned from my first ever HR trade show and my first ever Annual SHRM Conference. Five whirlwind days of meeting Ultimate Software customers, HR practitioners, and HR bloggers/ social influencers. It was awesome.

I spoke with the Human Resources community about things that trouble them, advice for younger professionals and new college grads, and how to get “in” with different crowds. Here are some things I learned:

  1. Everybody loves Steve Browne. If you don’t know who Steve is, start by reading his blog. It’s called “Everyday People.” But, if you meet Steve, you’ll know he’s anything but ordinary.
  2. Heather Kinzie knows how to kill it in the HR consulting business. If you’re looking for a consultant, she’s your girl. In another blog post, I wrote about a friend who asked me for new-college-grad career advice (Read it here.) While I was at SHRM, I asked for some advice on how to get a job and how to get the pay you’re worth. Heather said “know your worth,” “know the industry,” “know the problems they have” and “be damn resourceful” to solve them, and discuss those issues and solutions to prove your worth. Thanks, Heather!
  3. Make friends, not followers. I’ve spent the last year creating a social media presence and meeting new HR friends on Twitter. (Notice I said “friends” not “followers.”) At SHRM, I made sure to find time to meet the new friends I had made on Twitter. Because of that, I got invited to some parties.
  4. Getting invited to the party is more than half the battle. Side Story – a long time ago I worked in Tallahassee in the Florida State Capital. I worked with a Legislative Assistant who gave me one piece of advice “if you’re invited out by an important work person – go. No matter what.” So I went. When I got there, I met even more friends, got and gave business cards, and was told, “You know, the fact that you even got here means you’re doing the right thing.”
  5. Follow up. By the time I had gotten home, my new friends had already emailed regarding new business opportunities. I followed up on Twitter and via email, depending on the person, and the response was amazing.

Anyway, I’ve now how the time to decompress from SHRM and reflect on my time and I’m so excited for the future. With that said, who’s going to HR Tech?