#CIPDACE Free session highlights

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With just over a week to go, the countdown really is on for this years CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition! There is always such a brilliant buzz around this event and this year, the focus is all upon Leading The People Profession which certainly is a powerful theme!

Ok so what does this year’s event have in store for us?

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National Mentoring Day 2018 #MentoringRocks

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“I believe that everyone has the ability to share their experiences; by doing so, you have the power to inspire the next generation of professionals”.

The above quote is one that I wrote back in April 2017 when I was leading a session for the CIPD Northamptonshire Branch member to member mentoring scheme, so it is quite personal to me, but is is one that I wholly believe in.

As HR professionals, we have a world of resources at our disposal; our network being one of the strongest assets that we have, this may not be unique to the HR profession, but it is certainly one that is powerful and has a solution to almost every challenge. This is particularly useful for mentoring, as the mentee may not even know some of the things that you do.

This was one of the many reasons why I decided to become a mentor in 2012 when I joined the CIPD Steps Ahead programme, since then I have been fortunate to act as one of their ambassadors in addition to mentoring job seekers. In 2017 I successfully supported 8 people into work; this was a range of people with different backgrounds some were returning to work after a period of absence, some were working parents looking for a career or returning to work, and others had just left university and were unsure what options were available to them. In addition to this, I co-founded the CIPD Northants branch mentoring scheme in 2016 which is beginning to grow in popularity.

The beauty of mentoring, is that you are supporting people using your existing skills and knowledge so it is not particularly difficult to do, all it takes is about an hour of your time every other week and you can make a big difference to someone’s life. It offers the opportunity to support others to encourage career development and support whilst unlocking their full potential.

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Is it time to rethink how we approach mental health? #worldmentalhealthday2018

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Today is world mental health day and whilst social media is alive with support, I can’t help but think about how mental health has become such a wider issue and how this has been responded to within organisations.

Long gone are the days where people “leave their problems at the door” before walking into their workplaces each morning, now there is a much greater emphasis for organisations to be more proactive when it comes to supporting employees mental health and wellbeing.

Promoting positive mental health at work is a great place to start, many employers have Employee Assistance Programmes, Occupational Health facilities and some are taking it that one step further by implementing Mental Health First Aiders within their businesses to proactively support employees.

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It’s time to get blogging; start the countdown to #cipdACE

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It’s getting to that time of year again and it’s all rather exciting! Finally we can begin our build up to the biggest HR conference and exhibition of the year and you guessed it, I am part of this year’s CIPD blog squad and absolutely delighted to be asked back for a second time; 2016 was an absolute blast.

I have had the pleasure of tweeting with some of this fabulous bunch over social media for many years and they all have such different perspectives so this year’s coverage is definitely going to be vast and varied to say the least. If you are not already, do make sure you following them over on Twitter, on there you will find links to their blogs which will be used (along with many other social media channels) to discuss all the goings on.

The theme for this year’s 71st ACE is Leading the People Profession; the meaning behind this leads from previous years when the focus has been upon the world of work and the future of work, and as the pace of change becomes greater, there is an expectation that people focused professionals need to constantly adapt and change to meet the needs of those around us.

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Returning to work when juggling life as a parent

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For many new parents, the thought of returning to work can be a daunting one. As part of my blog collaboration series, I am joined by Laura Izard known as the Comeback Girl (@C0mebackG1rl on Twitter) to discuss how parents can prepare themselves before returning to the world of work.

Whether you are at the end of your maternity leave or you’ve taken a career break, returning to work can be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, and confidence can play a big part in the decision-making process. Having children changes your life so thinking about returning to work and putting yourself first can make you feel guilty as a parent, but it shouldn’t. Returning to work can be fulfilling, exciting and rewarding, but most of all, it can make you feel like ‘you’ – pre-children!

Understandably, when you become a parent your priorities change in a big way, so firstly, it is important to understand and be realistic about the expectations you have for yourself. You may feel guilt about leaving little ones at home, that’s normal and it’s also normal not to feel it. It’s vital self-care to consider your needs too.

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