Friday, 22 July 2011

[CPD23] Things 6 and 7

Networking has always been one of those buzz words that I have been a bit scared of.  I have, over the past year, however, realised its uses and that it does not have to be deliberate targeting of individuals for conversation.  I believe that it is much more beneficial to be an outgoing and friendly individual and make contacts in a more natural manner than having a clear 'aim' in socialising.  I, for one, dislike those people who can be identified as 'networking' from a mile off and just want to get their name known and to hang with having meaningful conversations with people.  That may help you up the career ladder but you'll get a certain reputation on the way.

So, after that minor rant, on with the Things.

Online networking

I am already very active on Facebook as a means of keeping in touch with friends whom I have met in several different places and have difficulty in contacting otherwise.  I do enjoy seeing how people are all related to each other and recently a friend of mine from Oxford came up as being 'in a relationship' with someone I met on summer school in Greece - it never ceases to astound me how small the world is...well, we are talking the 'Classics' world, which is distinctly smaller than many though perhaps not Cambridge!  I don't use Facebook professionally since I like to keep my personal and professional lives separate.

This is entitled 'laptop lightening' - I thought they were just sparks
I have used this week as the prompt I needed to start a LinkedIn profile.  I agree that it comes quite high up in the Google results and it is a great way to get your CV out there.  I have started making connections but I am, as yet, a little unsure about what connections are and who it is acceptable to connect to.  I agree with Annie when she said that it is best to have a well-updated online presence rather than a presence everywhere.  I am even realising this now as I finish my traineeship (today is my last day - sigh) and have to go round changing current job etc.

I have just joined LISNPN and I am not sure what it is all about. I keep getting e-mails but am a bit busy to follow them all.  If I had more time I would look into it more and I imagine that it is a very useful network to be involved in.  I wish that I could have gone to the New Professionals Conference and will endeavour to do so when I return from my masters in NY.

Face-to-Face networking

Now this I sort of prefer.  After only a year in Cambridge I know many librarians by face especially due to the Library@Cambridge conference and my regular attendance at the Cambridge Libraries Group events.  I also attended many Arcadia Seminars and obviously the tours and visits as part of my traineeship were invaluable for introducing us to others in the profession as well as giving an insight into other institutions.

As I progress in my career I hope to become more involved in local professional networks (but it is difficult though when you know that you are leaving imminently for another country!).  I have already signed up to be a volunteer at the CLRC Unconference in Syracuse, NY in September as a means of getting myself out there and meeting others in the profession (I am banking on my distinctive accent to help make me memorable!).

Since I am moving to America, I see the importance of online networking afresh.  I hope to keep up my participation in Cambridge based discussions and will keep up reading blogs on my RSS feed.   I am intending to blog while over there not only for my fellow students but also for people back in Britain and hope to draw comparisons between the the countries and approaches to librarianship.  It will be particularly interesting to keep up with the other Cambridge trainees and see how our courses compare and how we can help each other.

Would people like to hear library and information science comparisons?
I do see the benefits of online and face-to-face networking and I am relatively new to it.  I would like to think that I am laying the foundations for a successful professional network and I hope to continue this while away so that when I come back it will feel like I have never been away!

1 comment:

  1. Oh definitely, I'm looking forward to hearing all about your adventures in America :D