When I was asked to write a blog post about two conferences I attended this year, I had to sit down and think. Think about how learning is such an essential aspect of my life, both personally and a professionally.
In today’s workforce, things are changing at a rapid pace. New ideas and learning techniques are continually being developed and implemented around the globe, re-defining the way we work today. Earlier this year, I attended the HRPA Annual Conference which focused on “The Intelligence Revolution”, a perfect partner to what we see in the industry today, as it moves towards continuous automation, Artificial Intelligence and Operational Efficiency.
The sessions I attended focused around branding, social media and automation, providing me with insights to further lead the work I am doing here at Pythian, enhancing my capabilities and giving me the ability to make a greater contribution to the continued agility and growth of my team. I had the pleasure of listening to some incredibly inspiring keynote speakers such as Adam Grant, John Izzo, William C. Taylor and Dr. Brene Brown – they challenged me to think differently, to ask tough questions and to truly listen to their answers, key learnings to help drive great things to come in 2018.
The next event, the “Evidence-based Talent Strategies – Workforce Planning and People Analytics” conference was hosted by HCI in Miami. And while leaving Ottawa in the middle of winter had great appeal, I chose to attend virtually – a fantastic option for those who are not able to attend on-site, enabling a global audience and virtual networking opportunities. Once again, there were two days of incredible speakers such as Ben Waber, Brian Ong and Anthony Walter. I left the sessions feeling refreshed, engaged and yet again ready to challenge the way we are doing things and looking towards an exciting 2018. I must say that having the capacity to leave my desk at work, take the time off and learn – really learn, to concentrate on the what I am engaging in— speaks to what a fantastic team I have.
When you are looking at your current place of work or perhaps a change in the future, my advice is to ensure that the company you choose, supports you in your continued learning and career development journey. No place is perfect, but having the time and finances allocated to you for self-directed learning is an amazing benefit! Recognizing the value of continued learning whether it be through books, online, conferences or attending school – is essential in any workplace. You never want to stop learning, whether it be from free webinars via HIO, Worldskills, etc. or engaging with the community via mentors.
During my six years here at Pythian, I have utilized our SEED program (a self-directed learning program) to pursue many initiatives. I also achieved my CHRP designation from Carleton University Sprott School of Business, attended various conferences through HRPA and HCI and purchased many books to help me grow in the world of business and technology.
“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” — Brian Herbert
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