A few weeks ago, I tweeted this: “For the past 7+ years, I’ve volunteered with various HR orgs & even when I say I’m going to take a break, I always get pulled back in. For the 1st time ever, I am putting my foot down and saying NO. I am retiring from all volunteer work at the end of 2021 for at least 1 year.” I followed that up with “I feel a blog coming on…” Here is that blog.
It has been seven years since I moved to Florida to pursue a career in Human Resources. I originally moved to the Orlando area because I had been accepted to the Rollins College Master of Human Resources (MHR) program. Prior to starting grad school, I didn’t have any HR experience or knowledge, other than one undergraduate Introduction to Human Resources class. I knew that the quickest way to advance my career would be to get involved wherever I could. Before leaving West Virginia, I joined SHRM and the Greater Orlando SHRM (GOSHRM) chapter. Within a week of being a Florida resident, I was attending my very first GOSHRM meeting. I met many wonderful people at that first meeting that I still talk to to this day (John Kinloch, Wendy Sellers, Tina Kuga Garrell, and Kim Ouellette, just to name a few.) I remember sharing with them how I had just moved to the area and would be starting school soon. I remember the advice John gave me about furthering my career; he told me that I needed to get into an office environment and out of retail (I was working for Sam’s Club at the time.) After leaving that meeting, I started applying for any and all entry level HR and admin jobs I could find. It wasn’t long before I landed an internship at a beer distributor that I would call home for a couple of years. During that first GOSHRM meeting, I also remember meeting Keith McCloud. If I remember correctly, he was the College Relations Director for GOSHRM and I was interested in learning about a student chapter at Rollins. He was able to connect me with Ivette Dupuis, who was entering her second year at Rollins in the same program I was joining. Ivette had been working to re-activate the student chapter at Rollins and was looking for some MHR students to get involved. For those of you that know me now, you would probably not believe this, but I was one of the shyest people I knew. I didn’t want to be in the spotlight and I didn’t want to be the one in charge. But through the conversation, I finally agreed to be the student chapter secretary. And that folks, was just the beginning.
I spent my first year at Rollins as the secretary for the chapter and spent time just trying to learn how to do things. The chapter’s president was graduating in the spring of 2015, which left an opening in our executive leadership; I decided I was up for the challenge and took on the role of President. It was an amazing experience and I had a great team! I got to work with some incredible people (as pictured below.)
This is also when I met Lorena Pabon, co-founder of this blog “The Future of HR.” I graduated in the Spring of 2016 and left the chapter in great hands. Though it wasn’t the original plan, Lorena ended up being President for the upcoming school year and I stayed on as an assistant to the assistant advisor (Ivette.) Over the next couple of years, I remained involved with the chapter in various capacities as I wanted to see it remain successful. I was also asked to join the GOSHRM board in August 2016. There was a need for a Director of the SHRM Foundation. The role included fundraising to support the SHRM Foundation. If you aren’t familiar with the SHRM Foundation: the Foundation is committed to elevating and empowering HR as a social force through its innovative solutions to workplace inclusion challenges, programming designed to inspire and empower the next generation of HR leaders, and awarding scholarships and professional development grants to educate and develop students and HR professionals. I quickly learned that the board would need a social media director for 2017; I jumped at that opportunity. I continued my role with GOSHRM through 2019, though the responsibilities increased as I became the Director of Communications & Marketing (which included social media) in 2018. I was also interested in joining the 2019 HR Florida Conference Team, but due to health issues at the end of 2018, I ended up stepping away from that. However, I did re-join the team for the 2021 conference and was part of the conference marketing team.
If all of those responsibilities weren’t enough, I also was accepted onto the SHRM Young Professional Advisory Council in January 2018. This was one of my proudest accomplishments, as only 15 Young Professionals across the nation are accepted to this council. What was meant to be a two year term, has turned into four. I’ll never regret a moment of it, though some moments have been tough. #CallieStrong
So we’re just over 700 words into this blog and the title was called “It’s okay to say no” but all I’ve talked about thus far is everything that I’ve been involved in over the past seven years. So why exactly am I saying that it’s okay to say no? Well – after seven years and 10+ volunteer roles, I am BURNT OUT! I have decided that I will be stepping away from all of my volunteer responsibilities in 2022 and will focus primarily on my day job.
What does this mean? Well, I’ll have more time for ME!!! I will have more time for Disney!!! I need to start planning my trip to Disneyland in October 2022!!! I may even start bowling again (I just to be really good at it…)!!! I still plan to attend HR conferences and events, but I will actually get to ENJOY them!!! I would like to get back to writing more and I may even work on presenting more too. On a personal level, maybe I’ll even be lucky enough to get back into the dating game too 😉. I just need more me time, and the only way I am going to be able to make that happen is by saying NO!
And that’s okay! It’s been hard, believe me. I have an opportunity to stay on the YPAC for another year, and believe me, I strongly considered it; I truly enjoy the perks that come with it! I was also asked to be on a committee for GOSHRM and I know HR Florida wishes I wasn’t stepping down. But I have to do what is right for me! I have felt bad when I’ve had to tell people no, or that I was stepping down. I have felt like I was letting my teams down. But in all honesty, if I kept it going, I would be letting myself down. I need to let myself unwind and recharge. When I make a commitment to something, I am all in. But right now I just feel that I wouldn’t be able to give 100% to anything right now and that wouldn’t be fair to my teams either.
As I have shared how I am feeling with friends and colleagues, I’ve got nothing but support from everyone. In fact, I have been commended for recognizing the fact that I need some me time. Everyone has assured me that it’s okay to take a break, which is why I wanted to put this blog together. I want everyone reading this to know that it’s okay to take a break every once in a while! Don’t feel like you have to give all of yourself away all of the time and don’t feel like you have to always say yes. Everyone needs a little “me” time. People will understand that YOU come first, every time!!!
So with that said, I look forward to the next few months. I’m sure you’ll see more of me here on this blog and on social media. You may even see me pop up on the speakers list for future DisruptHR events or maybe even HR Florida, dun dun dun. We shall see. 😉 In the meantime, enjoy a little YOU time and say NO at least once. I want to hear about it when you do!!!