Tina Marie Wohlfield, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
I am excited to be attending the 2022 SHRM Annual Conference. My first experience in 2021 was twenty years in the making. The memories made, such as a selfie with Steve Browne, inspiration from Opal Lee and Michael Phelps, meeting amazing HR professionals from across the U.S., India and Nigeria and insight gained will stay with me the rest of my HR career.
I am frequently asked what took me so long to make it to the “Super Bowl of HR Conferences.” I, like many of you am an HR professional who has spent a majority of my career working for mostly small to medium size organizations. The companies that I served did not always have a large professional development budget or capability to allow me to attend. As a leader, I sought ways to ensure my entire team had opportunities to learn and grow, leveraging our state annual conference and other local SHRM/HR development activities. I am grateful for Michigan SHRM and other state conferences in my region that I have been able to attend. However, attending SHRM annual had always been on my HR bucket list and being able to attend was incredible. With the virtual attendee option now available, many who face similar budget challenges are now able to benefit and experience the conference too!
SHRM annual is not just for CHRO’s or those in HR at larger organizations. What I discovered last year was that our conference has something to offer every HR pro, regardless of your title, career level, organizational size or industry. Most importantly, the opportunity to meet, connect and share conversations with other HR professionals and build that “phone an HR friend” network.
I also discovered invaluable opportunities to learn from early career HR practitioners. I am in my 28th year as an HR professional and benefited tremendously from engaging with those newer to the profession. For example, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting many individuals, like Amanda Brunson, Alexandra Cafferty, Claire Petrie, and Kirk Wyman who are serving on SHRM’s Emerging Professional Advisory Council (EPAC). This is an important reminder that those who are relatively new to our profession have a lot to contribute to our HR community, both now and in the future!
My recommendation for anyone attending #SHRM22 is to be open to meeting new people, learning something new and confirming your current HR approaches remain in the “best practices” category. There are sessions that appeal to all career levels and specialties. From compliance to inspiring leadership practices of fellow HR practitioners, like Steve Browne or Tim Sackett – no matter where you are in your HR career you can walk away with takeaways to apply in today’s HR environment.
If you are attending #SHRM22– let’s connect and celebrate all the #HRAwesome that happens when we, as an HR community come together!