Thing 7: Face-to-face networks and professional organisations
Face-to-face networking is good. It’s not as easy as online networking because
1. you need to be in the same place as each other,
2. you need to approach others and make them feel at ease – they probably feel just as uncomfortable as you do –
3. you need to break your routine and leave the people you came with behind to meet new people.
I am currently not a member of a professional organisation. I was a member of CILIP but didn’t get much of of it. The only people who were active in the CILIP branch around me seemed pokey and unsincere (or maybe they just didn’t try to convincie me otherwise), and not very professional or enthusiastic. This is very unfortunate as since then I’ve built a good online network that includes many CILIP members.
Having moved around a bit I had also not settled enough to seek out professionals in my region. I am now more settled, and I hope to meet more like-minded people. I would also like to enjoy more training that’s relevant to my profession, not just health and safety and such things at work. My work place isn’t the best with training but I am now leading a group on developing a new staff training programme, so hopefully I can change that! Do any of your organisations train staff online? Could you please send me any examples.
I agree with Bethan about the benefits of professionals organisations, in that they offer training and accreditation, as well as official documents, formal publications and guidance but I have never experienced much of that with CILIP yet. Maybe I should have gotten involved more but I just didn’t get the guidance how to do that. I know this is a few years ago now but I’m not sure I’m ready (and convinced) to rejoin.
I have done some very useful networking by crossing borders of my profession. As I get to go abroad sometimes to enjoy training on various topics to do with the EU I get to network quite a bit as well. And it’s very interesting to meet people from across Europe. Most people working in Europe Direct centres are young and driven, sharing lots of interesting ideas and thoughts.
This week I have also joined some of the informal organisations, such as LISNPN and the Facebook page of the The Library Society of the World.