Finding Your Passion

This weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend my first HR Conference, HRevolution. HRevolution allows members of the HR community to come together and discuss issues surrounding business today. Although I was a bit nervous, I was excited for this conference, as it was the first conference I attended that was closely aligned with what I do on a daily basis. I had no idea what lay ahead.

Prior to the conference, Chernee alluded to the fact that those attending this event were nothing short of brilliant. The more she talked and the more I researched, the more I became nervous and a bit intimidated by what I thought was in store. How could I ever measure up to these fabulous people who had already made a place for themselves as HR professionals?


Julie & Jen @ HRevolution Tweetup

As Julie and I immersed ourselves in the conference, meeting and chatting with our fellow conference attendees, I was pleasantly shocked at how welcoming everyone was. For one, there were quite a few attendees who were first timers themselves. Additionally, in meeting a few attendees, Julie and I kept hearing “If there’s anyone you want to meet, just let me know!” Even more, during the Tweet-up on Friday night, we were chatting with one attendee, who introduced us to another, who introduced us to another, who introduced us to another! I can’t even describe the excitement of meeting all of these wonderful people in such a short period of time!

The next day, amid a bit of exhaustion and excitement felt by all attendees, the Unconference began. Different than your typical conference, HRevolution boosts the opportunity for attendees to speak their minds and discuss the nitty gritty. Sessions such as “If HR is so bad, what are you DOING about it?” by Steve Browne and Jason Lauritsen, which dove into why those outside the industry don’t respect HR, and “The Great Performance Debate” by Mike Carden and William Tincup, which offered a debate over if performance reviews should be an annual occurrence or something to be done more frequently, offered new perspectives on areas of the HR field that I hadn’t touched on since college.

Through chat and debate, the passion for HR felt by attendees was evident in each and every moment of the conference. This enthusiasm was contagious. I’ve had an interest in HR for a while now, but their passion for HR got me thinking about what I’m passionate about. What really drives me? In a professional setting, I love the opportunity to help people advance their careers and their lives. And in a personal setting, sure I love to cook and have a yen for traveling, but neither really drives me. So I keep asking myself, what is it that drives me?

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about this more and more. The passion of my fellow attendees has really inspired me to figure out what this is. Should I be worried that I haven’t figured it out yet? I don’t think so. I’m only in my 20s. At the same time, I’m ready to find out what that is so I can throw myself into it!

Post written by Jennifer Pray, Recruiter at Whiting Consulting.

6 Responses

  1. Hey Jennifer! Great summing up and really good to meet you guys! Its a complete reverse to what most events are like – the warmth blew me away too. As someone from the UK, i expected to sneak into the tweetup and hide in the corner! But as soon as i got in i had people come up and say Hi!

    Great experience. Top people!

    • I agree. I’ve been to conferences in the past, but none in HR and very different then this! I had a such a great time. Glad you were able to make it over from the UK!


  2. Jennifer, how exciting to know that HRevolution was your first HR event! I applaud you and Julie for making the leap and joining us. I know it’s hard to go to any conference where you don’t know people. I’m glad you were able to connect right away and find people who introduced you to others. That has been my experience too. If I had found something like this early in my career, it would have been fantastic. I think that is part of the reason I created HRevolution- because for years I had no way to connect other than a local SHRM chapter of 50 year old HR vendors and pros who only want to talk about legal updates and selling me a product.

    I think that at any age, the take away can be the same from HRevolution. It’s about passion. Not just passion for HR, but for our lives. I turned 40 this year and it’s one of those big “reflection” milestones. Whether I was in my 20’s or 30’s, there have been those moments where I thought I figured it out. Back in my 20’s, I thought my passion was HR compensation. Then in my early 30’s, I realized that being a business partner to my clients was my passion. Then in my late 30’s I found social media and decided that communication was my passion. Now, I’m realizing that passion can be something that grows and morphs over time. That’s what keeps me excited about our profession.

    I hope you find what really makes you happy and engaged. If you haven’t seen or read it, check out “Eat, Pray, Love” and it will give you some ideas. Thanks for coming to HRevolution and we hope you come back and stay connected!

    • Hi Trish,

      Thanks again for putting on such a great conference! I feel the same way and look forward to staying in touch with all of the fantastic people I had the pleasure of meeting. I also agree with passion being something that is constantly changing. I think it’s good when your passion changes from one thing to the next, because that shows growth as an individual. I don’t think I’d want to passionate about one thing my whole life! Where’s the fun in that?

      I’ll be sure to check out “Eat, Pray, Love.” Thanks for the tip!


  3. It was great to meet you and fellow ROC compatriot Julie at the event. I am really pleased you found the event enjoyable, and please do continue to connect and engage with the folks you met at HRevolution. See you guys next time!

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