#SHRM18 Expand Your World – 3Cs

Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) National Conference 2018 in Chicago brought together over 20,000 people from around the world. This was my fourth conference, but it was unique in so many ways. Lucky is a simple way to put what I feel. Lucky to be representing SHRM National’s Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) and to be the first from Hawaii. Lucky to be representing my local chapter, SHRM Hawaii Young Professionals (YP). Lucky to be a part of the SHRM Blogger Squad, #SHRM18Blogger, where I can share my thoughts, ideas, and live stories while having my conference attendance fee covered. I am especially lucky to be fully supported by my organization to this national conference for the very first time. Lucky is much more than what I got from going to Chicago.


As a young(er) person in the world of HR, I often find myself wanting to compensate for my age. What I’ve learned is knowledge truly is power. Each year, when I leave SHRM’s National Conference, I am reinvigorated with a sense of confidence in my knowledge. With over 200 sessions, many attendees could only wish that we were given the opportunity to see it all. Of the sessions I did get to attend, I was able to capture the three lessons below and I am bringing them back with me.

*Quotes are paraphrased, and interpretations are mine.

  1. “Make sure others know your song so they can clap to it too.”Adam Grant

Sometimes we get bent out of shape that others in our organization don’t follow processes or do things similar to how other people do it. The big problem is that they don’t know what that song is so let’s not be surprised when they can’t clap (or hum) to it with you. Let’s teach them a few lines, the melody, maybe the chorus, and soon we’ll have the best choir.

  1. “Be a moment molder.”Bruce Christopher

There are times where people act wacky and we could react in a way that they’d expect. We could react and be upset about it. Instead, use the surprise effect and be a moment molder. We have control of our emotions and our soul. No one else does. Why not turn it around and help the person realize that they are being difficult. Often, difficult people don’t know that they are difficult. They behave the way that they do because it has worked for them.

  1. “You do not have the right to remain silent.” Natasha Bowman

Human Resources is not a job for everyone. We bear the responsibility of upholding policies in compliance for the company’s success, the wellbeing of our employees, and the safety of everyone in between. All while being the face when the words culture, process, and jobs come up. We need to use our role to significantly impact how our organization operates and not remain silent.


True to my extroverted self, I couldn’t help but make new friends. The SHRM YPAC had a Super Sunday Session with young professionals and students from all over the country and world. Their leadership and facilitation skills were top notch! We connected with over 150 young people in the short morning session to kick off this conference with a bang. Although Hawaii is about 8,000 miles away from Chicago, we had a couple dozen people attend #SHRM18. Our Hawaii Employers Council (HEC) hosted a dinner for Hawaii folk on Sunday night. As the world is so small, I met other HR professionals in my industry that work on the same street and park in the same parking lot. Who would’ve thought! All the way in Chicago would be where we met for first time, but it won’t be the last time we connect. The SHRM Bloggers had the opportunity to connect in real life, #IRL, at the Bloggers Lounge, various events, and just by catching each other’s tweets during sessions. These folks have been so encouraging as I am a newbie to the world of blogging and tweeting.

Continued Growth

SHRM’s CEO, Johnny Taylor, put it best, “Gone are the days when HR wanted a seat at the table, we are now looked at to be the solutions and change organizations need. We will help set our organizations apart, plan for the staffing shortage and needs, and be the ones to bring success for tomorrow.”

There’s so much to do as generations are rapidly changing and as technology continues to advance. I take it that we must tap into resources we’ve never thought about like high school programs for new and fresh talent. We need to be flexible with traditional requirements such as college degrees and years of experience. We should give second chances for those that have shown their potential to change. We must invest in systems and processes that make sense to help HR and the business be more efficient. We cannot sit around and hope for the best but always be proactive and ready for movements such as #MeeToo. Lastly, we have the seat so let’s to do what’s right for our employees and our organizations.

To echo other great #SHRM18Blogger posts, I am sad that #SHRM18 is over. Let’s start the clock. I’m coming for you, Las Vegas, #SHRM19!


How are you creating the change you want to see?

The SHRM National Conference is just a couple of days away and I’m so excited to see Chicago for the first time. For those that are going or have been to a SHRM National Conference do you ever take a second to think, well how did I get here? How did I become a so interested in HR that I’m traveling thousands of miles to be with 15,000+ HR professionals and leaders from around the world? Where did your inspiration start? What programs impacted you?

Each year, when I start packing I can’t help but think of my inspiration. When I was a sophomore in high school, our school had student academies where English and Social Studies courses were tailored to a specific pathway. For students interested in business, we could pick from the Academy of Finance or the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. I chose to be in the Academy of Finance. In my junior year, we had a conference where high schools from across the state participating in this program would come together to hear real business professionals share their experiences and advice to better our future.

I was inspired by one of the speakers during an afternoon breakout session. She spoke about HR’s role in business and interviewing dos and don’ts. I was fascinated and although I didn’t know it yet, I would find myself in this career path. Five years later, I found her at my first SHRM Hawaii Conference and was able to reconnect. She has been become a friend, a mentor, and my biggest cheerleader since.

In the last decade, the nation has seen some of the lowest unemployment rates. In Hawaii, we are at a 2.1 percent unemployment rate which means we need to look beyond the traditional recruiting methods. Sure, people say they want to come and live in Hawaii but few know the price of paradise. Recruiters are struggling to find qualified candidates and when they do many just don’t “fit the culture” or “understand business acumen.” The NAF is a great partner for employers, HR, and businesses. Programs like NAF are the solution. Why wait for talent to come to you when you can grow it yourself?

NAF believes in helping high school students be FUTURE READY. Too often employers and HR folk say that students lack the experience while experienced professionals are too costly. NAF is your answer! Their approach is to educate and help students explore careers beyond the classroom setting. Depending on the design at their school, courses are taught with a business focus and students are also given internships to gain real life experience. By the time they finish high school, they’ve already paved the first step by understanding what it takes to succeed.

As a proud product of NAF, a self proclaimed, unpaid, and strong advocate, I can’t say enough about programs that build our future generation. Visit the NAF at booth #2534 next week at SHRM National Conference in Chicago. See how your organization can partner with NAF.


It’s time we create the change we want to see! #YPAC #SHRM18Bloggers #SHRMYPHawaii

Does your work define you?

I’ve recently found myself doing a double take when I meet new people and have to introduce myself.  After I introduce myself, I pause. I realize that I’ve defined myself by my work. The more times I pause, the more it makes me worry that all I am is my work. My introductions often sound like this, “Hi, my name is Lina and I work in HR.” Depending on the setting, I’ll go further with details about my education in HR, perhaps my fairly recent certificate in HR, and that I met the friend standing next to me from an HR event. It’ll always revert back to my work in HR.

Perhaps it’s my Gemini-ness that makes me think, why not define yourself with what you do because isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all want a career that makes us jump up out of bed and love every minute of our day? Don’t we want to do what we love most? We often hear college students searching for their calling or those between careers say they’re looking for something that makes their heart sink. On the other hand, is that all we are? Are we just our work? Can’t we be more interesting and talk about something that we do outside of the hours of 8 to 5?

If you think you don’t have this problem or have a witty introduction, please share. I seek your advice! Otherwise, here’s a quick way to figure out if you’re like me. Can you fill in the rest of these three statements without talking about what you do for work?

I am…

I like…

I appreciate when…

If you’re wondering why these three statements in particular, let me introduce you to my newest obsession. It’s called Datings Apps! Yes, you heard me.  I’ve recently heard of this new app called Coffee Meets Bagel and decided to check it out. You might have seen their product on Shark Tank. This app is free to start and simple to use. People are given those three statements to share with their profile. It stumped me because I couldn’t breeze through it like an HR form and we all know how HR likes forms. The search for true love has many similarities as HR. It’s said that HR/hiring mangers often make judgments in less than 10 seconds. First impressions whether in person or via resume are no different than swiping right, right?

To add to my new fascination, I’ve made it a point to read the hand full of profiles this app shares with me daily. Let me just say that it takes less than 10 seconds to decide and no more than a few each week make me say, “oh, interesting!” I bet my current self introduction makes many people not really want my business card either.

At the 2017 SHRM Hawaii Conference, Neen James , an attention expert, was our keynote. She made me wonder about this and I’ve come to terms that it is okay to be my work but there’s a better way to introduce myself. It will forever be a working draft but here’s my new and improved introduction to use IRL inspired by a dating app and an attention expert.

Hi, my name is Lina.

I am…passionate about people and their work. It fascinates me how people are the highest single line item expense for most organizations yet HR is not always at the table.

I like…being in HR, providing solutions to the business units I support, and watching employees grow into leaders.

I appreciate when…managers in any department as well as the organization’s leaders look to HR as a true partner by engaging us in decision conversations from the get go.

It’s so great to meet you! Will you swipe right?


2018 SOLO

We all say it and we all hear it right? “This is the year!” Right? Right. I mean it! I am making this the year. 2018 is going to be big and this year I’m committing to a few things. I’ll save those New Year’s resolution thoughts for another day but today I just want to get started with how I’m committing to this space. To put some thoughts in writing.

My word this year is “Solo”. Solo for me will be a time to be with myself, to be with my own thoughts, and to be choosing experiences with just me. This might sound like some commitment to be a loner or on the opposite spectrum someone with attachment issues. It’s neither. Society has gotten us to the point where we can’t sit alone at restaurants or bars and enjoy the company of ourselves. We can’t be in a waiting space (any room, line, or moment) without digging out our phones and looking busy not alone. I am definitely guilty of this need to be with someone, something, and somewhere not alone. Hence, solo will be this year’s goal. This post is the beginning as time will be dedicated to writing in a solo space.



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