This month, I attended the third annual TogetherDigital National Conference (formerly known as Women in Digital). Year three of the conference brought with it the same buzz, sense of community, and dynamic learnings as the years before, but something about it felt different. In retrospect, I think it was me.
Last year I was wary of a few things, including showing up as my whole self amidst a sea of (mostly) millennial women. The old, familiar feelings of impostor syndrome washed over me the minute I arrived. Do I know enough about digital to even be here? What am I bringing to the table? Can I Irish Goodbye my way out of happy hour to make it to the local climbing gym? Will I be judged for that?
Turns out, I was received with open arms. So this year, I unapologetically bounced from Customer Journeys to circuit training and felt at ease as I slipped out of the conference room and into the yoga room. I engaged in break-out sessions on using data to drive conversions, broke out of my comfort zone by staying up way past my bed time, and fostered genuine connections with old and new friends alike. I left the conference feeling inspired and recharged (despite the whole staying up past my bed time thing).
I picked up plenty of nuggets of wisdom along the way from all different kinds of people, from founders and CEOs to artists to students just starting out. We talked professional development, swapped stories, and found common ground with counterparts across industries and across the nation. But of all the anecdotes I acquired, there was one that stood out the most - and that was to simply go for it.
This much needed reminder was delivered in a break out session by the CMO of a well known digital and creative staffing firm. His story illustrated that sometimes the non-traditional, unbeaten path can turn out to be the best one. He implored us, in so many words, to take risks, learn from our mistakes and keep going. Having the privilege to hear this person's story reaffirmed that our stories are not only our own to tell but our own to write, and that there’s nothing quite like having a community to share them with.
TogetherDigital continues to provide a strong community for womxn to share their stories and learn from each other. The group is dedicated to accelerating the advancement and growth of womxn in digital fields by fostering connection through educational events. With 23 chapters across the country and nearly 2000 members, TogetherDigital offers amazing opportunities to connect IRL and virtually, too.
Learn more about this year's NatCon here and check out TogetherDigital here. See you next year in Columbus!