I’m recently back from spending 3 days in America at the Career Directors International (CDI) 13th Global Career Summit.
This was a huge commitment, both in terms of cost and time. I had to fly out to Orlando but professional development is important to me and the chance to network with colleagues from another continent would help me to learn new trends to better help my clients and to make some helpful business contacts.
I pride myself on staying at the forefront of career trends, and this was certainly the place to be. No boring talking shops with an inward focus, or academics whose content has no relevance to practitioners.
And every single session was truly worthwhile.
A new approach to networking
I didn’t know anybody, but knew I’d soon get to know people. On each of the three days I sat at a different table so I got to know more people. The easy option would be to return to the same seat. This was a brilliant way to meet more people and as all sessions were held in the same room it was easy to make a connection with the people I sat with.
Right at the beginning the conference had us focused on our goals, and we played a great networking game. I’d not come across this before but we wrote details on one of our professional goals on a card, pinned it to our front, split into pairs and each took 60 seconds to make suggestions for how our partner could address this goal, we swapped and then changed partners several times. What a great start.
The picture is of me with Sandra Ingemansen, awesome resume writer.
Ways to stand out
The sessions were excellent, and I’ll be sharing more details on these in future posts, but it was the little things that stood out. As we arrived there was a badge bar, so we could attach details to our name badge. In my case it included International, First time, Author and I could have chosen from many more including award winner, volunteer, perfectionist, grandma, dog lover …, such a cool way of getting a hint to start a conversation.
At conferences I’m used to getting note books, pens and bags. We got all of those but we also got all the handouts in a printed thick book, so we had the slides ready for us to add our notes and there was no chance of losing the attendee list. Brilliant.
We also got 3 free books including ‘Knock ’em Dead – The Ultimate Job Search Guide’, ‘Job Search Letter for Dummies‘, and ‘Interview Pocket Rx’. There was also a draw and everyone got another free book or a free place on a course etc, I got ‘100 Conversations for Career Success’ – good job I had space in my suitcase.
In the photo is me with Deb Dib – The CEO Coach and author of Ditch, Dare, Do.
Lunch n Learn
The first lunch as set up as a ‘lunch n learn’ with each table hosted by one of the speakers. Martin Yate, author of the acclaimed Knock ’em Dead series was someone I was keen to meet and it was fantastic to be at a table of just 10 people so we were able to discuss the future of career management.
We talked about how we describe what we do and I had to write down his description
“Doctors save lives, we make them worth living.”
I go to many conferences, and often I attend because I ‘should’ and too often the timetable doesn’t inspire me even before I get there. This Global Career Summit was totally focused on the needs of the career development practitioner – covering CVs/resumes, job search, interviews alongside marketing and business building.
Future blog posts will focus on highlights from the sessions, and of course if you work with me I’ll be integrating what I’ve learnt into our work. There’s always something new to use.
What about you?
If you are a career professional I highly recommend you join Career Directors International (CDI), the members are very open to sharing through their discussion forum and the resources are extensive.
And for my other readers I’d like you to consider making the effort to go beyond your usual professional development events. Last year I went to Portland to the World Domination Summit, and whilst not a career professionals event being in the audience to listen to people such as Brene Brown and Susan Cain was wonderful, I highly recommend you find out more about them including watching their TED talks.