The future is bright and not all heroes wear capes… The key points from MAP Student Conference

What – a – day! So much to say in one short blog post but I’ll give it my best shot! Firstly, I just wanted to say it was lovely to meet so many people, thank you for taking time to speak to me, it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope you had a great time today.

Today’s student conference was held at Aston University and was focussed upon the future of work, thinking about options to consider to structure your career and ultimately what you need to do to get there.

“You have one career, (unless you believe in reincarnation) so make the most of it”

David D’Souza

After welcoming the delegates and getting into the swing of the day we first heard from David D’Souza – (you’ll be hearing his name a lot in this post!) who talked all things Superman and Jurassic Park and the lessons from this were that just because that things are done in a certain way, it doesn’t make a compelling reason for continuing to do things that way. Start looking at things differently and start today, think of the different outcomes that could be and determine the type of HR professional that you want to be. He finished with a line that really resonated around the room – “you have one career, (unless you believe in reincarnation) so make the most of it”.

“The world of work is changing, don’t jump on the trend bandwagon”

Dr Richard MacKinnon

We swiftly moved into an insightful keynote with Dr Richard MacKinnon who begged the question “is it worth considering the future of anything these days” referring to the appointment of President Trump and Brexit and he’s right, if we were reading these headlines 10 years ago, we would have thought that the world had gone mad! But it’s true, our inability to predict the future from all aspects; technological, environmental or in a work capacity, we as humans are terrible at predicting the future and that is simply human nature.

He emphasised that there are a lot of myths in the workplace, be it about people, situations and others in our organisations so it’s about identifying those myths and challenging them whilst thinking that just because others are doing it, it doesn’t mean that you should. For example technology at work, just because it exists, it doesn’t mean that you have to implement it, don’t get preoccupied with future technology before you deal with the issues here in the present day.

Dr MacKinnon’s speech really was fascinating and he encouraged the room to research science at work; there is a wealth of opportunity to learn and develop yourself by using free papers and simply researching into these subjects.

I would recommend anyone to look at his work, you can follow him on Twitter @WorkLifePsych or view his website here: www.worklifepsych.com it’s perfect for those of you who wanted further information on the world of work from a psychology perspective.

Whilst there was a lot of learning going on, behind the scenes a hitch lightening us of two speakers had happened, our hero of the day in the form of David D’Souza (minus a cape) filled in for two sessions – engagement and digital recruitment proving that even when disaster strikes, the team handled it brilliantly so thank you to David and the MAP team for allowing the show to go on with no further hiccups.

Other breakout sessions including an employment law update; there are plenty of those lurking at the moment! Business analytics with National Grid and how to secure a role in HR/LD career pit stop session. To summarise there’s a lot of things to consider when looking at a career in the profession these days – and you thought a career in HR/LD was about tea and biscuits!

We concluded the day with a panel Q&A with Dr Richard MacKinnon, Tiffany Poeppelman and Carole Carson to discuss their experiences and career highlights, it’s safe to say that the whole room took something away with them in this piece; some were inspired, others motivated and others were considering which career path they would choose to take as all three panellists have different backgrounds proving that we are not all made for the same HR/LD shaped hole!

“Your actions define how people perceive you”

Tiffany Poeppelman

The closing keynote from Tiffany Poeppelman from Linked In was absolutely the highlight of my day as it helped me with an area I feel personally that I have been struggling with of late; Building your own brand through social media and networking. With the activities I’ve been working on of late, since ACE  I had not blogged very much and have let my Twitter feed fall behind a little, whilst Twitter is back in full swing with the events coverage I’m doing, my Linked In profile was in need of a refresh.

There was so much useful information and tips but these are her five top things that you should do to enhance your Linked In profile:

  1. Complete and enhance your profile
  2. Connect and grow your network
  3. Join 2 or 3 relevant networking groups
  4. Follow companies, industries and people who interest you
  5. Be an active collaborator – share, update your status, discuss and post. What do you give to your network?

Understandably there is a lot of food for thought to take away from today’s conference and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have and I hope to see you at another CIPD event soon. Finally a big thank you to Eleanor Lloyd-Jones for allowing me to Tweet and blog at the event, it’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of.

 

 

MAP Student Conference 2017 – T-minus 13 hours… and counting!

Aston University

We’re fast approaching the Midlands Area Partnership student conference at Aston University and the organisers cannot wait to meet, greet and network with everyone attending!

Ok so there is a heck of a lot to get through in just one day so what actually goes on prior to the event? This blog post is to fill in all the details to highlight exactly how much work goes into making these events a success.

First of all there is a lot of organising to do, budgeting, sourcing an appropriate venue, guest speakers to discuss relevant topics, catering (well of course! If you’re giving up a Saturday you need a vast amount of coffee, tea and food to keep those brains engaged!). Then there’s the task of confirming the attendees, any dietary requirements that they may have and any access requests to the venue so that everyone can enjoy the event.

The organisers will be at the venue very early on the morning of the event to conduct final checks and to ensure everything is set up in time for the delegates to arrive, they are of course our guests!

This is just a short burst of what happens behind the scenes, the day itself is much more fast paced, so this year there will be just half an hour to book in all 200 attendees between 9:00-9:30am and waiting to greet you will be Nic, Gill, Max and Janice so make sure this is your first point of contact.

As this event is completely sold out, we don’t want those who were unable to attend missing out so myself, Amy and Priya will be hosting a mini blog squad reunion so pop over and see us as we’ll be gathering the information from our speakers, talking to as many people as possible to gather your thoughts on the event but also you can ask us anything, we’re here to highlight the key topics at the event.

Finally we can then hand over to the speakers, this year we have a welcome address from David D’Souza and an opening keynote from Dr Richard MacKinnon before moving into the breakout sessions which consist of relevant topics in today’s HR world.

One thing I am really looking forward to is the HRD Panel at 14:20pm with Dr Richard MacKinnon, Simon Lewis and Carol Carson so make sure you don’t miss it!

Finally there’s the closing keynote from Tiffany Poeppelman, a really passionate organisational psychologist so this is something I’m particularly excited about attending for so I’ll be quoting from her a lot on Twitter.

In advance of the event, a huge thank you to the CIPD, Midlands Area Partnership, our fantastic speakers, organisers, volunteers, Aston University and personal thanks goes to Eleanor Lloyd-Jones for making this event happen.

I’m off to watch the rugby now and will see you all bright and early tomorrow. Don’t forget to pop over and see me at the Northamptonshire Branch stand after lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

#HRActofKindness Challenge Three:That Friday Feeling!

It’s Friday and what better way to celebrate than to take a break and not “talk shop” for once with your colleagues?

HR professionals are notoriously known for not taking breaks yet we spend our lives telling others to make sure they do! Practice what you preach and take a few minutes, grab a sandwich in the canteen/breakout area or head to the local café/pub/restaurant and spend some quality time with your colleagues and why not invite other colleagues along too?

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for taking part in the challenge so far, see you on Monday for challenge four!

 

#HRActofKindness

 

#HRActofKindness Challenge Two: Reconnect

Welcome to day two and our second challenge. I hope you enjoyed yesterday and I’m looking forward to hearing what you got up to!

Reconnect with a former colleague or connection on Linked In or grab a coffee with a colleague that you’ve not had time for recently.

#HRActofKindness

#HRActofKindness Challenge One: Recognition

Good morning and welcome to challenge one. We are not starting small; today’s challenge is exactly that, a challenge!

Don’t forget to let me know how you are getting on and spread the word, let’s show the world what HR can do! Have a fantastic day.

Recognise when a colleague is having a bad day or if they are struggling;

find out what you can do to help and support them

#HRActofKindness

 

How to handle your social media channels; without getting told off by your better half!

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My husband was always telling me off for being on my phone and using social media as it ate into our limited time together. At first I wasn’t aware until I put the phone away for a few hours and realised I was struggling to leave it alone!

Upon reflection I then became concerned about the effect that it would have on my step children and the example it would set them. I thought about ways to limit its use without missing out (and its an incredibly difficult balance to find!) so I researched ways to improve the situation and it really works! So here they are; my top five tips for handling your social media whilst still having a life!

1. Use an automated app to send your tweets and update your LinkedIn; many people often ask me how I can get all of my work done and still have the time to update social media? It’s pretty easy because I generally don’t! I allocate one hour each evening or a couple of hours on a Sunday evening, I then identify trends in the HR world then put it all into my Hootsuite application on my iPhone. Hootsuite works on your behalf and can even schedule updates to appear at peak times to ensure you get noticed. Now that I have it I don’t know how I lived without it!

2. Get business updates to your desktop, all of my CIPD, ACAS and People Management updates are sent to me directly via email and appear at lunchtime when I have time to read them whilst having lunch.

3. Put the smartphone down! Working without your phone on your desk or not getting it out of your bag when you meet a friend for coffee will stop you getting distracted and allows you to switch off and focus on the task at hand. You can then recharge your batteries and allow yourself some much needed “you” time and trust me, you will feel a lot better for it.

4. Don’t look at your emails all day; allocate certain times during the day to check your emails; go and talk to a colleague instead of sending an email or pick up the phone if they’re not based at your site. People often prefer a more personable approach, this allows you to build effective relationships in your workplace, well let’s face it you can’t get a personality across via a screen!

5. Download a radio, podcast or a playlist from iTunes or Google Play; when at home instead of checking Facebook, put on the playlist and listen to it around the house, this will keep your mind busy and help you resist the temptation to pick up the phone or tablet. If you listen to business podcasts, it’s a great opportunity to learn about current trends but if you listen to some of your favourite music, nothing can be better to help you relax or have a dance around your kitchen if that’s more your thing!

I hope these handy tips will help you free up your time and help you become more productive, not just at work but at home too.

Check out this article to find out more about smartphone addiction: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201307/smartphone-addiction