#WISHRM14 Speaker Spotlight – 2 Questions with Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann)


Laurie Ruettimann is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer and strategist. You may know her as the creator of The Cynical Girl and Punk Rock HR, which Forbes named as a top 100 website for women. Ruettimann has been published in a variety of places including Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report and USA Today. She has lectured at business events around the world held by Harvard Business School, SXSW, American Marketing Association, MediaBistro and many others. She is also recognized as one of the Top 5 career advisors by CareerBuilder and CNN.

In addition, Laurie is part of the Talent Advisor team (which also featured fellow #wishrm14 team member Matthew Stollak) at CareerBuilder’s The Hiring Site

She can be contacted at laurie.ruettimann@gmail.com, on Twitter (@lruettimann) and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LRuettimann).

1.  Why should someone come to your session and learn about personal branding?

I am a hypocrite because I don’t believe in personal branding. I believe in being a normal human being. You aren’t a bottle of laundry detergent. You have a soul.

I do think there is some merit in thinking about how others perceive our work in human resources. I think there’s some value in thinking through how we advocate on behalf of a better and more progressive HR function. And I think everyone can benefit from learning how to clearly and confidently articulate what they do for an organization.

2.  As a speaker at several HR and SHRM conferences, what one piece of advice would you have for someone attending WISHRM14?

Being a human resources speaker is interesting. Some audiences are great, and some audience members are suspicious and self-loathing individuals who don’t welcome or value input. Sometimes I feel like conference attendees are saying, “Go ahead. You’re one of us. Try to teach me something, if you dare.”

That kind of attitude is so toxic.

There’s also the unspoken rules of being a conference speaker that goes along with many events.

  1. Don’t be too feminine, too young or too pretty.
  2. Don’t be emotional.
  3. Don’t be too queer or quirky.
  4. Don’t have a personality.
  5. Don’t have fun if you want to be respected.

If you still have a 9-to-5 job and haven’t figured out how to get out from the crushing weight of the HR policy manual, you should attend the WI SHRM conference with an open heart and an open mind.

Speakers who are brave, bold and audacious are the ones to emulate. They may not look like you or sound like you, but they are there because they love Human Resources professionals. Do them proud and pay close attention.

You can see Laurie at her session, “Personal Branding for Human Resources: Navigating the Social Web in Strategic Ways” on Thursday, October 16 at 10:45 a.m.

Laurie has also recently released an E-book, I Am HR: 5 Strategic Ways to Break Stereotypes and Reclaim HR,” which can be purchased for the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee, at Amazon, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble.  While there is no hard copy, Laurie would be more than happy to sign the back of your Kindle, iPad, or Nook.

For more information, check out the conference website here.

As always, you can get the latest news on Twitter by following @wishrm14 or the hashtag #wishrm14

You may also like our conference Facebook page here

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