“Out of office” does not mean I’m not “working”


Damn,  I forgot to put the out of office alert on my blog.  I always do that.

I have been working, I swear – I know you have your doubts about the productivity of people who are not in their seat all day, every day, every week, every month…but it’s true, some of us have figured it out.

Oh, I can see that thought bubble over your head: “More like figured out how to scam the system.”

Am I right?  Now, now – that’s not very nice.  I might get the impression that you don’t trust me.

I have been busy blogging over at the LIVE HR blog at the 2015 HRPA Conference.  So feel free to check out my posts there, they are tucked in among the great work posted by my fellow blog team members:



@MitchellAlli, @tomfromhr

Perhaps you are also thinking that I wasn’t really working while I was at the conference, after all HR people are notorious for well…let’s just say, what happens in the “AODA: What You Need to Know for Private Sector Organizations”, stays in that session.

It’s true, over 3000 of us were sitting, listening, walking around, chatting, and generally having a good time.  However, often what I came across were people scrambling for charging sessions so that they could log in to work, people coveting chairs and corners where they were making scheduled calls with clients, and even more had to leave sessions early to deal with issues that had come up.

As one participant shared with me, it’s like no one needs us or cares if HR is at work until we aren’t there.

In my regular blogging job, I generally sit down and type out whatever idea has been brewing in my head for days – I write the way that I would want to read it.  I do a quick once over and hit publish.  This quick and dirty method will not be a surprise to anyone who is a regular reader of my blog (as illustrated by my grammar / spelling errors). I really don’t concern myself about who or how many people will read it.

However, my time at the conference created a completely new and uncomfortable blogging experience.  Not only was I in information and idea overload, but I also had to write with deadlines and I did have to concern myself about who was going to be reading my posts.  Add to all of this the fact that I was contributing alongside some really great bloggers.

My initial post reflects this perfect storm.  I couldn’t decide what to focus on, I spent most of my sessions thinking about what information I could use in the blog, and then I tried writing it in bits and pieces throughout the day.  And truthfully, I felt like I couldn’t even write in my own voice, after all, who I am to write about HR.  And then I was up late at night re-writing, fine-tuning, over-analyzing, and second-guessing every, single. word.Then I hit publish.

After reading some of the other posts – I needed to take a step back.  I had to change my approach.  It’s not that I felt intimidated by the other bloggers – I was inspired.  We chatted about what we were writing about, shared ideas, and supported each other. Truthfully they made me think more about my content and style, but at the same time made me realize that I could improve these and still use my style and voice.  I thought and planned more and obsessed less. The grammar and sentence structure…well, that’s something I can concentrate on next time.

So I apologize if it may have appeared that I was off having a mini-vacation from this blog and work, I know when you see me tweeting excessively about #HRPA2015 it may look like I’m just goofing off, but the truth is that I WAS working, learning, developing skills, collaborating, and making connections.

I know that these are not tangible and easily measured, they may not have been on my development plan or listed in my job description.  I may not have been in the office, but I can assure you that I was working.

You will just have to trust me on that.

This post is dedicated to my fellow HRPA Conference bloggers – thank you for everything.


One thought on ““Out of office” does not mean I’m not “working”

  1. Pingback: Best Blogs 30 Janvier 2015 | ChristopherinHR

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