In March 2016, whilst heading home from London on the train, I decided I had things to say and experiences to share about the world of HR. I read an article which focused on being an introvert in the world of HR which resonated with me so I wanted to talk about it too.
Little did I know that what started with a desire to air a view, would become quite life-changing, certainly in relation to my work-life, career, and aspirations.
When I posted my first blog post, I shared it across Social Media, namely Twitter. My Twitter account at the time was pretty empty and basic. I used Twitter mainly in the Summer and in January to keep track of any rumours of football players who might be joining my beloved Swansea City Football Club. To say it was under utilised is an understatement.
Twitter wasn’t a place for “work”. Of course it wasn’t.
How wrong I was.
A very kind gentleman, Mr Michael Carty (@MJCarty) also from the HR space, had picked up my post and discussed it with me. He shared with me his blog posts and he retweeted mine around. Before I knew it I was connected with maybe a dozen or so HR professionals from around the world. I discovered there was a HR community, on Twitter, all sharing interesting articles and in some cases, blogging themselves.
I caught the bug and wanted to blog more. The different topics led me to discover other HR pro’s who connected with new articles in ways some of my previous posts might not have done, in essence realising that a different topic, connected me with a different HR pro. My network was growing. I discovered others whose work fascinated me.
I remember reading the amount of thoughtful detail and clarification that was included in a post made by David Goddin (@ChangeContinuum) that really challenged my thinking. There were so many others too, way too many to mention without forgetting and offending someone. But in short, this was (is) a real genuine community, with a great spirit that i’d stumbled across.
What I realised by this point was that Social Media was playing a huge part in my own development too.
I realised that despite starting on this ‘journey’ of blogging to share my thoughts outwardly, I realised that I could combine that whilst learning; whilst having great dialogue and being exposed to new ideas.
This was both a send and return process, a two way street of sharing, educating, learning, challenging. I was developing personally and felt like I was influencing others and hopefully, the profession.
I discovered Evidence-Based Management which really struck a chord, and I started #HRHour to get the HR community discussing HR topics together, having been inspired by #LDInsight from the @LnDConnect group.
I realised how powerful this process was and how blogging, combined with Social Media had changed my style and outlook as a HR professional. I started thinking about my career and even changed jobs.
Of course Social Media is for “work”, any place where intelligent, competent and enthusiastic individuals congregate to selflessly share ideas was going to benefit my knowledge and increase my skill base.
So my 50th blog is a post to say thank you. Thank you for reading my work, for engaging in great dialogue with me, for supporting #HRHour, for helping me outside of Twitter, for giving me this awesome #PLN that has allowed me to be a more effective HR professional.
Lastly, when I first started, the online HR community encouraged and supported me, allowed me to transition from ‘onlooker’ to ‘active participant’ and showed the way for how Social Media and blogging can help others. So in return, it is my aim to always do the same.
I have been lucky enough to be invited to talk at various events on this subject and of the power of Social Media for personal learning and i’ll continue to do that wherever I can to spread the word. I’ll continue to welcome those new to the concept and bring them along as other good folk did with me, encouraging and connecting people, whilst improving and enhancing my knowledge at the same time.
And simply by being kind. If you are connected to good people, you’ll see lots of kindness, which is always welcome especially in these troubled times across the world.
After 50 posts – what the hell do I write about next!
Thank you / diolch!