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....