NextGen in Review: Breakout Sessions

Those who weren’t lucky enough to attend NextGen 2011 may be interested in perusing these summaries of some of the breakout sessions. Obviously, the information conveyed was too awesome to be boiled down into a few paragraphs (and you will certainly want to make it out to next year’s summit so you can hear from our fantastic speaker lineup in person), but it’s a decent starting point to get your brain juices flowing. Enjoy!


One Size Does Not Fit All: What It Really Means to Have a Work-Life Balance”

  • Make time for what is important to you. Ex: Spend time with people who are having stressful moments (illness, death); let people at work know what is going on (so they know what you are dealing with)
  • Keep Life Organized. Ex: use the Franklin Covey method, Google calendar, texting/Facebook/email; remember to send Thank You notes; if you have a spouse make sure that ya’ll are both on one calendar.
  • Take real vacation to recover from/prevent burnout.
  • Physical energy is really important, so exercise daily. Eat the amount recommended and sleep at least 7-8 hours a night.

“Public Sector is Multi-Sector: Tips on Navigating and Managing Across Sectors”

Several questions regarding government workers transitioning from public service to others — and important points to remember:

1) Learn to navigate the cultural & political spheres of government now for future work across sectors.
2) Develop & cultivate project/task management, accounting/profit & loss and other related business courses to get with business needs.
3) Harness the power of technology — become a subject matter expert of technological systems and changes/trends in the industry
4) Continually study the industry/sector of interest well before departure!


“Wellness at Work: Get Your Erg On!”

The body reacts slowly to stress during the day. It is important to take note of your posture and breathing patterns and to track your high and low energy points and major/minor stressors. Energy zappers can be found in common items in your office, including your office chair. Many popular ergonomic chairs help align the spine, but a simple wooden chair or a chair with a yoga ball component can benefit your back even more. And an added bonus: they are less expensive than those fancy chairs ($89 via Amazon or on GSA Schedule).

Another cool idea is to spearhead a Wellness Program in your office by writing up a wellness program proposal. All you need is the support of an interested few (in your office, of course) and management. It only takes bit of planning to get a program started.


  • Improves productivity
  • Improves “presenteeism” of staff
  • Improves employee morale and retention
  • Encourages workplace interaction and idea-sharing

Resources: Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA)

Never Too Young to Plan – Financial Planning from TSP to Insurance”

  • Start early (understand how it will effect your livelihood later, make sacrifices when you can).
  • Save at least 3-6 months of debt expenses in case of an emergency.
  • Check out the OPM plan on agency website, and if you have a TSP account, check their site for resources and information.
  • Check with your HR department to see if your agency has an employee assistance program to help with financial planning.
  • Know what you spend/what you owe/what you want.

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