This week I’m attending The Resilient Assistant, the 22nd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. It’s being held at the Red Rock in Las Vegas and is hosted by the phenomenal Joan Burge and her amazing team at Office Dynamics. This is my third time coming to this conference and the fourth time in six years that I’ve been in Las Vegas to attend a conference.
“Oh, aren’t you lucky? Vegas…Must be nice.” (LOADS OF SARCASM)
I’ve heard this from co-workers, associates and even some family members. Notice I didn’t mention my board of directors. They get it. They understand. A week away from my family, my office and other obligations isn’t a perk. The hotel property is one of the best in Las Vegas, but if I had to choose between a lonely hotel room and hearing my daughters giggling and playing in the next room…you already know what I would chose.
“Why are you complaining? The conference wasn’t mandatory. You asked to go.”
I wish I had $1 for every time I’ve heard that. That’s like telling someone who exercises that they don’t reserve the right to complain about being sore after a good workout. Just like going to the gym, attending conferences strengthens my professional development muscle. The workplace is constantly evolving and if you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing and if you aren’t growing…you are no longer an asset but a liability to your employer and your clients.
One of the things I love about this particular conference is that the valuable information that is shared at these conferences does not always come from the stage. Over the years, I’ve received some amazing ideas and suggestions from other attendees that has helped me successfully move forward with a project at work. But in order to have that type of organic experience, there is a level of expectancy and a willingness to be transparent about what you don’t know but want to learn.
Are you seeking out opportunities for professional development? Find a conference, workshop or seminar that will enhance your skills or teach you something new. Remember, the journey to being extraordinary rarely comes from traveling down the roads of mediocrity.