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Archive for Change

20 Simple Ways to Grow Your Career & Get New Shoes

As HR professionals we often end up as the shoemaker’s children. We focus our attention on meeting the needs of the employees in our organization. That’s our job and we’re good at it.

When it comes to career management, we encourage employees to take ownership. We remind them that how far they go in their career really depends on them. Makes sense, right?

After years of helping others become successful, many of us lose sight of our own development and ensuring that we, too, continue reaching new levels of excellence. Refocusing on ourselves is critical to HR leading our organizations by example. It sets us up to be the true advisors to the business; not just with theoretical models but from practical experience of what works.

Here are 20 ways that you can take ownership of your own career development and be a leading example for other to follow:


  1. Write a post on LinkedIn’s blogging platform. This positions you as an expert and builds your personal brand.
  2. Intentionally network with peers in your industry. Relationships matter. Author Allison Graham says “Networking, when done properly and professionally, will help you achieve whatever you can imagine.”
  3. Follow the social media profiles of top leaders in your industry. Learn what they’re talking about and what trends they’re paying attention to.
  4. Share an article that that caught your attention. Help others learn something new too.
  5. Start a blog. Offer actionable advice to your readers that will help them progress and grow on their career journey.
  6. Publish an ebook on a subject you’re passionate about. Tap into what gets you fired up, research it, and spread the word.
  7. Set aside 20 minutes every day to read a blog with industry news. It can be a leading blog or one that is up & coming. As long as it has relevant ideas and commentary, build it into your daily routine.
  8. Reconnect with the area of HR that drew you into the profession in the first place. Was it compensation, recruitment, or leadership development? Seek out the latest information & keep your expertise fresh.
  9. Sit in on training your client group is going through. This puts you directly into their shoes and gives you a natural talking point for future meetings.
  10. Invite a business leader into your next team meeting to provide a business update. This helps you learn what keeps them up at night and builds your relationship with a key stakeholder.
  11. Invite another member of HR to share their priorities & challenges with your team. It shares knowledge & builds lasting alliances.
  12. Attend one networking event per month. Have a meaningful conversation with someone new. Bring business cards!
  13. Schedule time in your calendar to follow up with people you met at networking events. Take action & share ideas within 48-hours of the event.
  14. Volunteer at an upcoming industry conference. As a volunteer, you can often attend sessions for free!
  15. Host a mastermind or think tank on an industry hot topic. Bring a group of smart people together and share ideas on the impact this will have on your organization.
  16. Host a 45-minute lunch & learn for your team. Teach your newest Excel hack and develop your facilitation skills at the same time.
  17. Volunteer to run the next team meeting on your manager’s behalf. This takes something off your manager’s to-do list (score!) & helps you learn how to run an effective meeting.
  18. Host a book club in your office. Choose a business book that everyone can benefit from and trade ideas on each person’s key takeaways.
  19. Host a training session in your area of expertise. Recruiters can teach how to get the most out of LinkedIn or ways to share jobs through social media.
  20. Mentor an up & coming HR professional. Be a leader, give back, and make a difference in a young person’s career.


The key to managing your career is taking small steps every day towards your own development. It’s an important part of leading by example in our organizations and maintaining credibility. Let’s put ourselves first, HR friends. It’s time to get some new shoes.

How do you build your career? Comment below and let’s keep this list of ideas growing.

If something here resonated with you, please share this post! You never know how you’ll inspire someone else to take action.

Cindy Harvey is the Founder of Amelia Dee Consulting where she helps purpose-driven professionals to build careers that fit them like a glove and create lifestyles with the freedom, flexibility, and fun that they crave. To learn more, get in touch at or visit


5413695877_978a088dbb_bAs an HR blogger, it is serendipitous to be able to watch the series finale of Mad Men and then attend the Reinvent Work Summit in the same week.

I don’t need to assert a theory that the workplace has changed over 55 years. The change has been highly visible.

When I was a little girl, I was invited to attend my father’s “take your kids to work” day. I remember walking in the factory filled with men and being told not to touch anything. I remember seeing all the component parts of a vehicle and realizing that someone had to assemble them. I remember the paneling in his office. It was a man’s world, but I was undeterred by that.

But that was the 1970’s, just beyond the glory days of Don Draper. By then some things had already changed. I had Wonder Woman as a role model, and a desire to be career-oriented.

Certainly today our workplaces are less sexist, less racist, and less anti-semitic than the 1960s. How we got here is a bit of a chicken and egg question though. While I won’t underplay the importance of the civil rights movement, in part, the kinder, gentler workplace is an economic necessity. With time, we learned that an economy with higher participation grows at a faster rate, has more spending power, and more elasticity. It requires less money for war. And computers have helped us split the demographics and figure out how to sell more to a broader audience. The identification of what came first will be the subject of debate for centuries to come.

I wonder what I will learn today at the Reinvent Work Summit. Lately I have been engaged in regular dialogue about the Google workplace, where you build what you want and the money comes later. A world where the workplace is flexible and silly rules are banished. As much as I like this concept, I still have trouble trying to make it work.

But that’s where Mad Men is helpful. It shows the fits and starts, the giant leaps and the about faces. It shows that the path to change is not a straight line.

Back in my childhood, there was a day at school where we talked about the future workplace, and I vividly remember being shown a picture of a woman at a large console pushing buttons. There was no explanation as to what the buttons did or what this work actually entailed. I remember liking the idea of working from home in a room designed for working. Later, I remember when our wireless network was installed in the house and being able to return e-mail from the patio. Not so long ago, my laptop became my phone and someone can call my office and talk to me wherever I happen to be. Someday I will be able to teleport myself to whatever meeting I need to attend. I wonder what things will be the links that get us there.

Let’s see where this goes.






What We Wish For

a wishMy New Year’s Resolution this year has been to do something new every day. I am just about a week from the end and am happy to say that I have been able to keep this up.

I plan to share a lot more about the experience of doing something new every day in future blogs but on this special day I want to write about the things I haven’t done, yet as a form of wish list.

Let me provide some context. The act of doing something new every day is liberating, but it has its limitations. You can freestyle it once in a while but to make it, I mean really do 365 new things, it requires some planning. In fact, you can kind of tell the days that I did freestyle because the new things are more happenstance and less interesting.  You have to have vision.

I think I liked the “get out there” new things the best and they are the inspiration for the future. Sadly, there weren’t enough of them in the year. This is in part because I wasn’t physically ready for them. For example, I took a little chance and tried paddleboarding up at The Forks of the Credit. I don’t have good balance and without practice, I fell, early and often. I was so bruised after the attempt that I looked like I had been beaten. It is now four months later and I still have some of the bruises, but I absolutely loved every second of it.

After trying something new every day, I have an appetite for the impossible now. I am going to run a marathon. I am going to swim faster than I did when I was 17. I am going to take lessons from Evel Knievel and have some guts and not do something out of fear of being hurt. I probably won’t jump the fountains at Caesar’s Palace, but I am not going to let my age or physical limitations get in the way of meaningful achievement. I’m serious.

I am going to finish writing a book and publish it. I am going to be successful in implementing an entirely new business idea. I am going to find meaningful projects in other parts of the world. I am going to become recognized as a thought leader. I am going to become friends with a whole new crowd of people and have deeper relationships with many I already know now.

I am going to help someone. I mean really help someone, for nothing more than the personal satisfaction of helping someone.

Tonight on the news there was a story about a woman who started a wish tree. Every December, she has set up tags, markers and a laminating machine near a tree and let people create their wish tag. She says she did it to change her own attitude. Every season there are thousands of tags created by friends and neighbours and passersby; some more virtuous than others. The message: hope is important, no matter what you hope for. Articulating your wishes is helpful.  I am thinking of doing something similar, because I feel like as an HR Professional, it is important to encourage hope.

We in HR are generally known as a cautious, prudent bunch. Irrelevant. This has to stop. There’s so much more to helping people, helping a business than saying no.  We have to be hopeful.  We need more wishes.

To this I say to you, what are your wishes?  How can you inspire?  How can you make your goals bigger than yourself, and yet for yourself.  Well, make a resolution!