Thursday, 21 June 2012

Networking = HELP!!! (Things 6 and 7)

Networking...  selling yourself... my worst nightmare! Yes I can go and talk to a hall full of kids, I can run a rhyme time with 30 screaming toddlers, but talk about myself big no no! I think it’s fair to say I am not the only one who feels like this and therefore do the bare minimum to get by... it’s like I said when I started this blog I find it very difficult to separate the personal and professional in my life and virtual worlds get mangled. LinkedIn is totally a professional tool for me and I don’t know if it is for this reason that I very rarely update it or check in. My Twitter account (@lady_libris) is my in-between account running a mixture of library and personal posts... if you follow me you get the whole package, yes I could have two accounts but that just sounds like too much hassle. Facebook is solely personal and I have succumbed to the common belief that LinkedIn is the office and Facebook the party.

I’ve dipped into other online networks tentatively such as LISNPN to see what’s going on and have taken part in #uklibchat and #chartership chats on Twitter which always seem to bring up the same people and I have found this a good way to begin professional relationships. But what’s the next step after this?  It is difficult for me to get time away for conferences and training days due to staffing so how do you build up these relationships if you miss chances to meet up?

In terms of physical networking beginning my chartership journey has opened doors to new professional contacts of a similar age and experience and I have met professionals in my region who I have a tentative Twitter relationship with. I also have a network of colleagues with whom I studied for my Masters and they are an endless source of help and comfort but also of professional advice and support. I don’t know if I am alone in not being able to find a balance... I do not want to spend every waking hour attached to my laptop on social and professional networks but then you miss out on opportunities. I follow most things online these days and am very good at finding excuses to not go out and meet people, take opportunities that are handed out so maybe I need to stop worrying and jump in.

So I think in short you get involved and you get more out right? Well, I can try and we’ll see what happens....


  1. Hey! I actually think you have it pretty well sussed. One Twitter account is the right way to go, Facebook for personal is the right away to go, LinkedIn as boring but worth having is probably right too. (And you're right that it's not just you who struggles with this stuff.)

    I actually think you don't need to worry about not being able to build up relationships because you can't get to events - of course face-to-face meetings do enhance relationships but it's perfectly possible to have enjoyable and productive networking experiences without ever meeting the people involved. There are loads of European, Antipodean and North American people on Twitter who I get loads out of networking with but may never be in the same room as. It's fine, it's just different.

    I'm a big fan of Twitter so I'd say, in terms of not missing out on opportunities but not having to be constantly online either, Twitter is the best way. Because most things of significance DO show up on Twitter eventually, so if you're in touch with that you should know what's going on most of the time. (You can't know about everything, and nor do you really need to.) Simon Barron has a list of 494 info pros - if you subscribe to that list (it's at!/SimonXIX/library-and-info-pros) you can pretty much guarantee to know what's going on! Just dip in and out of the conversation like you would at a party.

    The final thing you could do is, take a day of annual leave to attend a REALLY good networking opportunity. Clearly you don't want to end up with a balance where you're working in your own time - but sometimes one day can make a huge difference to your network (and your horizons, and ambitions, and ideas) without making a big dent in your free-time or work/life balance. Something like the New Professionals Day, which is free, would probably be worth it.


  2. Wow, that's an amazing amount of information.. thanks so much for taking the time to comment and allaying fears it's always good to hear that other people feel the same way!