By Ruth Sternberg, NRWA Staff Writer
The 2022 NRWA professional gathering is finally in person after two years of virtual, and many of us are excited to see each other again or meet for the first time.
This time, if you have not heard, it’s September 18-20 in New Orleans. It’s our 25th anniversary, too! We’ve come a long way and have a lot to celebrate as North America’s only truly nonprofit, member-run professional organization for career services professionals.
More importantly, YOU have something to celebrate! You have been working hard on your business and attending the NRWA conference is a gift you can give yourself to help you move forward successfully and effectively. The NRWA’s goal is to keep ramping up the training for our members so that we can continue providing excellent service and guidance for our clients while growing our businesses.
This is why you pay your annual membership fee.
Here are a bunch of reasons why you should consider attending the conference:
The Knowledge and the Growth
“I learn so much—the latest and greatest with regards to resumes, LinkedIn, and running my business,” said Sara Timm, NRWA president and owner of DFW Resume. “Plus, I earn enough CEUs to certify and remain certified.”
Ellen Steverson, owner of StartingBlock Career Services and creator of the NRWA’s business development course, points to the conference as a catalyst for meaningful action.
“Action kills fears,” she says. “Attending the NRWA's conference is the perfect action that will minimize or eliminate any fears you may have about being successful as a writer, business owner, or entrepreneur. There will be so many opportunities to learn and grow, not only from the workshops and speakers, but from other attendees. You will be energized and motivated upon returning for a successful year ahead!”
This year’s meeting features some unique subject matter experts. Creativity is a major theme this year. And who doesn’t need a dose of that after the last two years?
Check out our keynotes:
Amma Marfo is a writer who loves to talk about integrating leadership, group dynamics, and creativity, and how you can infuse your work and life with your values in new and exciting ways.
Mason Gates is passionate about using data to improve the hiring process. He works for Indeed as a Recruitment Evangelist and will talk to us about trends, algorithms, and more, so we can stay on the cutting edge of the career industry.
Other sessions, conducted by our members, will help you improve your close rate, strengthen your business processes, sharpen your writing, and honor your clients’ diversity.
When you attend, Ellen advises: “Spend a few moments each day to write a few action-specific tasks or SMART goals to accomplish upon returning home so you can implement the most important things you learned.
“Remember not everything you learn will align with your business model or goals, so focus on your mission and implementing what works for you best. Conferences can be packed with great info, but you want to return and use the knowledge you gained to help you, your business, and your clients grow!”
“This will be my first in-person conference,” said Rob Rosales, owner of EZ Resume Services, and NRWA’s president-elect and ethics chairman. “I am very excited to attend and meet everyone that I have been working with! I believe that the physical connection of being together in the same place, talking about our passions, work, joking, and having fun will do more to build and grow relationships in a way that you can’t do over the phone or on Zoom.”
Cathy Lanzalaco, owner of Inspire Careers, agrees. “As wonderful as technology has been to keep us connected during the pandemic, nothing can replace the value of spending in-person time together to build relationships, share best practices, and strengthen our professional presence,” she said.
Many NRWA members already have forged connections digitally and often consult with one another on business matters, and some of those relationships started at the conference!
Sara loves seeing her friends. “The camaraderie is second to none,” she said. “The activities are a lot of fun, and they let me get to know my colleagues better. So many laughs!
“This year you can take a dinner cruise or tour the city to learn about its haunted past. You can kick back at the opening reception on Sunday and have dinner locally with some of your NRWA peers.”
It’s always nice to feel validated by our peers. At the conference, you will meet a lot of people just like you, at various stages of business. You will see that we share the same challenges. At the awards luncheon on Tuesday, we will share our inspiration as we honor excellence in the profession with the ROAR awards.
A change of environment can infuse your business with new energy. Just being in a different place can lead to a new mindset; maybe help you get unstuck. This is one of the key principles taught by thought leaders such as James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, who preaches about change.
After the past few years, a change of scenery can be refreshing! New Orleans is one of those energetic places full of history and activity.
We hope to see you in September! You can register here and check out the agenda.
Ruth Sternberg, CPRW, CEIC, NCOPE, CCTC, writes our Marketing Smarts column each month. She is a resume writer and coach who has also worked as a journalist, editor, grant writer, and copywriter during her 37-year career. She owns Confident Career Search, equipping people across the age spectrum with the confidence and tools to make meaningful career transitions. She has been a member of the NRWA for two years and serves on the Public Image Committee. She recently moved from Columbus, OH, to Rochester, NY. Find her online at LinkedIn.com/in/navcoach.