This Thursday, for the first time in my 2+ years in Dublin, I found myself at an in-person HR event. My nervousness was at an all-time high and before I left home, I had to calm myself at the prospect of walking into a sea of unfamiliar faces. I had to remind myself not to hide in corners and leave only after making at least two new connections. Though I did exit the event soon after lunch, I still consider it a win given that I sparked conversation with strangers and added at least one of them to my LinkedIn connections.
I am acutely aware of my lack of an HR network in the country. While I have been in a few virtual HR forums, I know not a single person who works in the same profession as I do but doesn’t work in the same company; who I can invite for coffee and banter endlessly with. This is very different from my pre-pandemic experience. I derived and continue to derive a lot of joy from the HR folks I know in India. I miss meeting them at the minimum of two conferences a year. I miss the endless planning over where we’d meet next. In fact, I miss it so much that I made a vow that the next time I visit, I am going to blast every WhatsApp group I am on, asking folks to come meet me. And you know the best part? They will!
My experience from Thursday shaped my challenge for March. Until last week, I debated with a few options but none of them felt as compelling as this. So here it is – meet one person who works in HR who I have never met before. Even better is there’s coffee involved. I am not deceiving myself. This may be the toughest challenge I have ever undertaken but it isn’t impossible. I am sure someone I know knows someone who fits the criteria, but we’ll find out.
Per usual, my challenge to myself is my challenge to you – go meet at least one person who works in your profession, lives in the same city as you and who you have never met before. I don’t care what the profession. If you are a software engineer (what are you doing on this website!), go out and meet another software engineer. If you are a medical professional (same question!), go meet another who works in medicine. And if you are an HR professional and based in Dublin, write to me now!!
Before we embark on a new challenge, it is only fair that I share how I fared with the last one. I was good at trying something new. I attended my first ever counseling session, babysat my nephew all by myself and attended a storytelling event. I wasn’t as good at self-promotion Mondays. I attempted it the first Monday but it didn’t stick. However, I am not giving up just yet. I hit like on more Twitter posts now that I ever have. February’s challenge is one that pushes me out of my comfort space and for the better and therefore, I intend to keep at it.
Before you hop off this page, do share: Did you take the Feb challenge? How did you do?
Are you joining me for the March challenge? Let me know in the comments below.