A Young Professional’s Pursuit


Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to support other young professionals on their journeys to learn and grow! I’ve been fortunate on my professional journey, and am passionate about sharing what I’ve learned with others so they can get ahead.

There are 3 little stories about my life that feed the 3 different areas I get fired up about sharing – transferrable skills, networking, and online presence! I share a lot more about transferrable skills in my blog post "Transferable Skills and Finding Your Path," but in a nutshell, I said yes to opportunities that came my way (working at the SPCA in adoptions, working in the undergraduate math office, shadowing my parents during their work) and used what I learned in each job to position myself well for a career in Human Resources. (I hope you check out the post and find it helpful!)

One of my favorite stories to share with students and young professionals is how 4 of the 5 professional roles I’ve held, I’ve gotten through networking. I see questions relating to this a lot: “Is networking really that important?” “Does networking really help you find a job?” YES. Not only does it help you land jobs, it helps you develop as a professional as well as get access to more opportunities. By making a good impression on those I met and worked with, people remembered me, referred me to new opportunities, or hired me themselves when they moved on to new companies. Trust me I’ve also applied on job boards like everyone else and some I got called for and some I didn’t. But how awesome (and less stressful!) is it to have your network helping you out and pointing you in the direction of new opportunities! I am so grateful for the network I have and people in my life who have gone to bat for me, and that’s why I love to do it for others.

Lastly, I love the LinkedIn and Twitter world and have learned the value of having an online presence over the last few years. I created my LinkedIn profile in 2012 when I started my first position, so I could connect with other people in the company, but I never shared or posted anything; I just used it as my online resume. (That’s right – I NEVER posted on my LinkedIn while I was in college. I love to help students take advantage of this amazing tool ASAP #studentsoflinkedin) In 2017 when I was in a challenging HR DOO (department of one) role, I turned to Twitter and LinkedIn again because I was craving more knowledge and more connection with other HR pros. I posted my first Tweet related to human resources, using the #HR and #HumanResources hashtags, and thankfully Paul LaLonde and Keith Enochs responded! They both introduced me to #NextChat and the rest was history. I participated in all the Twitter chats I could. I kept learning, networking and connecting with HR Pros from all over the world. Later that year I posted my first LinkedIn video. I was so surprised how much great feedback I received from that post. Shortly after that, SHRM reached out to me to be a #SHRM18Blogger for the 2018 annual conference in Chicago, an opportunity I thought would NEVER happen to me. Having the opportunity to go to the conference was amazing and life-changing – I met so many amazing speakers, (and learned a ton from them of course) vendors and other attendees that lead to more opportunities to write, podcast, help others, etc. And the best part, of course, I made the most WONDERFUL friends! I am so grateful for the opportunities SHRM has given me.

Being positive, curious, helpful to others, and always wanting to learn has kept me moving forward in my career. I hope to inspire other young professionals in their journeys to learn and grow by sharing what I’ve learned along the way. My best advice is really just to do something, and keep going. Post that Tweet, attend that networking event, send that recruiter a message. Sure I’ve had to refine my approach to networking in person and online over the years, but the more you do it the more you learn. So just take action and get started. You won’t regret it! And of course, reach out to me if there’s anything I can do to help you!

On that note, I’m so excited to share that I’ve joined the SHRM YPAC for 2020! The Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) serves the interests of SHRM Young Professional members and provides guidance on building a community for the next generation of HR leadership through social media, membership and networking activities. I am honored to have been 1 of 15 applicants selected to serve on the 2020 team and get to work with SHRM Staff on special projects to advance our profession! YPAC applicants are selected based on a combination of education, work experience, volunteer experience, SHRM involvement, SHRM certification, and social media presence. This has been on my vision board for a few years now, and I know everything I’ve done leading up to this helped me land this opportunity.

I’ll close this post the way I started it: I love to support other young professionals on their journeys to learn and grow. And now, through the YPAC, I get the opportunity to continue this important work. I’m truly thrilled, grateful, teeming with energy, and can’t wait to see what this 2020 team can do! Let’s get started!

Originally posted on the Claire Petrie HR & Training blog.


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