“Yesterday was pretty great. Got to see all the cool kids on the block that I admire. Now I need to figure out how to become a part of their “cool kids” circle! Going to make it a point to spend more time with you all next time! Thank you for the laughs & warm hugs” – Prerna Saraff Chauhan
The quote above is from a post that appeared on my Facebook wall after a fantastic recruiting/sourcing conference I attended just recently called RecruitDC. This post is not about the great time I had with friends and colleagues, but the perception that some of us have in this space and how we seem to be portrayed, it’s not what I thought, and part of me is ashamed of that. I don’t know how we got to this point, but it’s something I think everyone should be made aware and how we can change it.
Mean Girls? Not Our Style
“Jules: Nobody’s gonna hurt anybody. We’re gonna be like three little Fonzies here. And what’s Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda what’s Fonzie like?
Yolanda: Cool? Jules: What? Yolanda: He’s cool”.
If you don’t know Prerna and are at least in the local DC area, you should meet her. Both her smile and her attitude are infectious, and you can feel the pure energy flowing through her. Perna was volunteering at the event as it is run by a non-profit and can benefit from all the help it can to run these occasions flawlessly. Volunteers like Prerna are the backbone of any event. I know Prerna and have chatted with her online. When I saw her, I told her that I did not just want my badge, I wanted a hug! I am a hugger if you didn’t know, and I don’t discriminate. I felt at that moment a feeling of surprise, not that she was scared but somewhat taken aback from my openness. Why? I think what she said in her quote above sums it up. “Got to see all the cool kids on the block that I admire. Now I need to figure out how to become a part of their “cool kids” circle!”
THERE IS NO CIRCLE!
We are all in this crazy game together fighting the good fight, and the whole point of conferences is to meet, discuss, and learn from one another. Trust me when I say there is no one out there wanting to help us, so we have to help each other. I cannot say that I know anyone that I am associated with that would not take a couple of minutes to chat with you within my tribe, and it’s a big, big tribe. SourceCon is going to do something very cool in Anaheim, and I am hoping to be part of it, Shannon, wink wink, nod. They are going to have ambassadors, the old guard if you will, to be there for everyone to get the most from the experience that they can. I want you to come and introduce yourself to me when you see me. I don’t need compliments, in fact, I shy from it. I am no deity, just a boy who found a purpose in life, and I want to share it with you. I want your stories, your successes, your failures, your voice. We are all in the people business, and we should and do act accordingly.
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“Always be humble and kind” – Tim Mcgraw
When I went to my first SourceCon I was a speaker. I was invited to a dinner with the other speakers and there were giants in our industry there. I was terrified to speak to any of them until Glen Cathey introduced himself. Not one speaker was rude or curt with me. We were there to share and learn. Had she told me this, face to face, at that moment, I would have taken her hand and introduced her to everyone I knew that day. Hell, I knew every presenter and almost all of the volunteers, I was one, being part of the selection committee. So, Prerna, like I told you on Facebook, as did many others, next time you see me grab my hand and let’s meet people together because there are so many people I want to meet too and having a pal around would Bolden me that much further. I do hope to see you, all of you, at the table next time because there is plenty of room for you. #truestory