It’s less than 24 hours before a professional development conference. Planning, organizing, and preparing to attend any type of training typically starts weeks or even months in advance (especially for administrative professionals who usually have this type of planning in our DNA!). After all of that planning, the final 24 hours should offer the opportunity to get excited about all of the learning possibilities during the event.
The luggage is packed, the flight is scheduled, hotel booked, agenda reviewed, speakers and topics highlighted, necessary downloads and/or print-outs have been completed, the boxes have been checked, the to-do list is mostly full of tasks crossed out.
I have attended several conferences, workshops, and other personal and professional development opportunities throughout my almost 25 years as an administrative professional. In the past, I would feel stress the day before training and a trip (even if it was a short drive). Had I forgotten anything, I was sure I had, and what still needed to be done, and why did my printer jam each time I waited until the last minute to print every essential document I needed?
Determining what opportunity to attend as early as possible helped alleviate some of that stress. Not waiting until the last minute to organize documents helped a lot too! Knowing in advance which opportunity I will attend has helped me pace the preparation needed way before the big day arrives.
My typical pre-conference 24 hours:
- Confirm that documents or electronic files are in the order they will be needed
- Review the agenda one more time and refresh my memory of speaker names, topics, and resources related to them
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Eat healthy, nothing too heavy since I will be flying (and drink plenty of water)
- Continue with my vitamin and immune building regimen
- Check and double-check that my driver’s license (needed for the plane boarding) is in fact in my carry on, then check again in a minor panic the morning of the trip!
- Check the weather of my destination
- Thank my supportive family and coworkers who have helped make the trip possible!
- Make notes on topics I’d like to discuss with other attendees and/or any questions I may have since I will be around others in our chosen profession
- Look for opportunities that will help me discover personal growth as well as professionally
The list above is a personalized abbreviated one that works for me and may offer a few tips for others. The last bullet point is one that I incorporated a few years ago and so grateful I did. Looking for personal growth opportunities during any professional training is key for me. When I seek out personal growth takeaways I can bring that to any and every professional role. Personal development can be any opportunity you seek that will build confidence, teach you a new skill, encourage communication, or any other area that promotes expanding beyond your current situation or focus.
Most professional speakers discuss topics that can have personal and professional education benefits. Being open to (and excited about) how those topics fit into your unique life can make any presentation have that dual effect. Part of my pre-conference 24 hours is spent visualizing and noting what my expectations are and where I am personally and professionally so I can be open to personalizing my experience.
How do you personalize your training experience?
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I will have more career posts and a special announcement soon! I am excited to be working on an ebook and workshops focused on my almost 25 years as an administrative professional and the importance of thinking beyond knowledge-based skills – more information coming soon!