Yesterday, I attended the annual GW Women in Business Spring Conference. After going to a handful of conferences and speakers throughout my GW career, I always think about how impactful each individual’s advice really is. Usually, I just think of it as average advice that I’ve heard over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, all of the speakers are always incredibly successful, and I definitely look up to anyone who has done that much in their career. But little of their advice usually sticks with me for more than a few hours. So, when going yesterday, I had pretty average expectations for the speakers and the advice I’d walk away with after 10 hours in Duques/Funger.
With that said, I cannot stop thinking about one of the speakers I heard from yesterday. I’m going into HR after graduation, and being an intern in HR for a year now, I’ve seen interactions between HR employees, managers, and lower-level employees. I’ve learned that HR is all about motivation. But, what never stuck with me until yesterday was the importance of intrinsically motivating individuals. Even looking at my life I know intrinsic motivation is how I function. I’m not the kind of person who is genuinely motivated by others. ~Side note: this is probably why I can’t do Soul Cycle, because when I’m there, I feel like I’m supposed to be motivated by others which just doesn’t happen~. This speaker did more than just teach me about intrinsic motivation though – she highlighted some other incredible elements her company follows that I will carry with me throughout my career.
Even though her company makes the machine that makes toilet paper – it seems pretty boring I know – her company exercises some of the most powerful values I’ve heard.
I’ve realized that the timing of speakers in one’s life is very influential. Since accepting a job post-graduation in HR, I’ve never heard someone talk about their life as an HR employee. The speaker yesterday has been in HR for 10ish years, and her advice -while maybe not so helpful to others- I know will stick with me throughout my career. She was genuine, she told stories of how she was intrinsically motivated as a child, and she captured my attention from the beginning. I’m sure in the past I’ve missed a lot of great speakers’ advice because I just wasn’t ready to hear it. But this time I was ready, I was present, and I’m so happy that I took notes.