Nice Work if you Can Get It

I've spent years going to conferences, generally HR related conferences. Over time I've wanted those HR conferences to be more focused on subject matter that is relevant to my consulting practice. As a consultant I am recognized by my clients and others as a subject matter expert.

Now I've had the experience of writing a book, an HR book, The Big Book of HR. Should I return to attending conferences targeting a generalist HR audience? Just like the actor turned director or producer, I'm going through an evolutionary process.

I'm an author. It's something I can proudly add to my bio and resume. I'm transitioning into a new phase of my life, both personally and professionally. I'm also doing it at a time of tremendous change in the publishing industry. There is so much to learn.

The Big Book of HR was published through a traditional publisher. One of the first things Barbara and I learned is that while our publisher was great in editing our book, designing both the cover and interior, and getting it printed and distributed, we were on our own for publicity. They engaged a publicist for one month. Thereafter, marketing fell into our lap.

We quickly realized we had a lot to learn. Lacking time, we brought in the experts. After all, we want the book to sell. We've continued with the publicist who's gotten us on the radio around the nation, not to mention Internet exposure. We've learned about the mind-boggling world of social media and engaged a consultant to help. We've got to do more video, so there is more to learn. I also learned -- it was no surprise -- that there is not much money to be made unless you are famous.

We learned that we are building our platform. Where did we learn that you ask? We attended the Writer's Digest Conference East in NYC in early April. Wisely, we only attended the first day which was focused on self-publishing. Otherwise we would have been totally overwhelmed. It was fascinating to learn about all the changes going on in the publishing industry and the opportunities for aspiring writers. I heard terms like hybrid authors, someone who has both self-published and traditionally published books, indie authors who self publish (very hip descriptor) and crowdsourcing, a concept that still has me confused and which we need to research more..

As an indie author, there is income that can be generated. First and foremost, one has to write a good book. Next, you've got to become familiar with the industry, understand it and the changes taking place. You have to know the resources available to you. You've got to move from being a knower to a learner.

What great advice for anyone going through a transition. Move away from being an expert and move to being a student. Explore and challenge yourself. If you change careers, you obviously have things to learn. If your company is part of an acquisition or merger, learn about the legacy or new firm. If you go to work in a new company or industry, learn about it.

And if there are no changes in your professional life, learn something new in your personal life. Pursue something that has always interested you. Expand your horizons.

As for us, we're on this new journey into a new industry. Nice work if you can get

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.