Dark Side of Networking

I’ve seen quite a few articles extolling the virtues of networking as a job hunter. I personally think it’s an activity that those who currently have a job should do as well — but that’s besides the point.
I’ve attended a number of events that have afforded me opportunities to network and I’ve observed some networking strategies that I thought deserved to be blogged about.
First, you should ALWAYS have your business cards on you. Ok, you get a pass for not having one on you at the beach. But otherwise always you should always carry at least one business card with you at all times. You never know when or where you might bump into a potential contact or connection. This goes without saying at a networking event.
Second, follow up. Please follow up! I don’t understand why people go to networking events and then fail to follow-up on contacts they’ve made there. Following-up can be connecting with someone via Linkedin, following them on Twitter, or e-mailing them. You might not think it’s a big deal if you fail to follow-up. I mean: what are the chances of these people remembering you didn’t, anyway. But that is the problem: you want people to remember you in the context of networking and to think of you when they hear of job openings. The information profession isn’t that big and, in NYC anyway, we all know each other. You may not even realize it, but people may tell hiring managers to watch for your name.
On a related topic: apply for jobs at places where you already know people who work there. You never know what’s happening behind the scenes. Let’s say a colleague you met knows of a job opening in their organization. they might not email you to tell you to apply, but they did tell the hiring manager to look out for your name. But then if you don’t apply and they later run into you and find out you’re still looking, they may think less of you and be less likely to help you in the future. Don’t discount the impressions you give at these events, you never know what results they may produce.
Third (and lastly and probably the most important), networking isn’t just about landing a new job. It’s about forging and maintaining connections between colleagues. Networking doesn’t automatically lead to jobs and the people you meet networking can’t always give you a job. Networking is about being part of your professional community. If you network looking only for your next job, you may not find it. Worse yet, if you network with such single-mindedness it may give you a bad reputation.
One side note to networking: networking affords you an opportunity to showcase your soft skills. Those interpersonal assets that you can’t include on a resume and can’t always highlight at an interview can flourish by casting a wide net at networking events.
For more information on networking, check out Ellen Mehling’s recent article on elevator speeches: http://metro.org/articles/your-introduction-elevator-speech-and-origin-story-face-to-face-networking-tips/

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Skillshare

I recently stumbled onto Skillshare, a website that offers a variety of MOOC’s. I’m always looking to learn new things and I saw a few classes that could be interesting. I haven’t tried any yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know what I thought.

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Thoughts on young archivist article from the American Archivist

I meant to publish this entry some time ago but it got lost in my draft folder.

I read an article ” Career Satisfaction of Young Archivists: a Survey of Professional Working Archivists, Age 35 and Under” by Amber L. Cushing in The American Archivist Journal.

I’m happy that the SAA published this article, I think  after the creation of SNAP, they are beginning to take note of new archivists.  While this article focuses on new young archivists I would be interested to see if older new archivists, those over 35, are fairing any  in the job market.

The only issue I had with this article is that they identified new archivists as someone with a paid position.  It doesn’t address new young archivists who could only find volunteer work .  I think that accounts for a significant portion of this demographic that is overlooked by this article.

While I do find it encouraging that most of the respondents were satisfied with their day to day work.  It’s unsurprising that those with temporary positions don’t like the lack of job security and I’m happy she points out that young archivists want more chances of promotion. I these two factors affect the overall morale of new archivists more than work satisfaction.  If a person isn’t confident or secure in their job that may translate to their professional growth.

I wouldn’t be surprised either if there is a brain drain in the archival profession as a result of un/underemployed archivists seeking better work elsewhere. I myself rejected paid archival work twice last year to take non-archival jobs that offered better employment.

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This is a video of highlights from the DAM 101 workshop I attended in October. I’m even seen in a few parts of the video.

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New Podcast: More Podcast, Less Process.

Also there’s a new Archive podcast out there. AV Preserve and METRO started More Podcast, Less Process. It’s it clever what they did there. Don’t you think, lol.  It’s available on iTunes check them out.

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Coursera: Metadata Class

I liked this class, I learned some new aspects of metadata that I didn’t know. I would recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about metadata or wants to get their feet wet in the topic. I love learning new things and will use Coursera to find new topics to learn.

However, it’s my opinion that this class cannot replace an actual for credit Metadata class.  I think it’s great and I’m sure you will learn from it, but I’m not sure if it will work as a “resume booster”.  I think Library Juice would be better alternative if that’s your goal. Yes, you have to pay for Library Juice but I do think those are more structured.

Still the Coursera class was fun and interesting. I enjoyed learning about metadata and taking the quizzes. What I liked most about this class is that I didn’t ever need to watch a video lecture. What I did was download the audio version of the lecture to my computer, then I brought it into iTunes as a podcast, and listened to them like that. I like listening to spoken word faster than normal so this was a great work around for me.  If you would like to know more about how I did this, look here.

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Createasphere DAM 101 Workshop

As mentioned in the previous entry, I attended Createasphere’s DAM 101 Workshop and certification. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

I think this workshop was more popular than Createasphere could have imagined. How many people would want to wake up early on a Sunday to talk about DAM?  Plenty in New York. I’ll be honest the fact that this workshop took place on a Sunday not a work day was my main motivation for going. I’m happy I did, it did not disappoint. There were some parts of the workshop that I knew about but quite a bit I didn’t. I learned alot of acronyms , which there are many in the alphabet soup of DAM. I liked how this workshop stressed that DAM was a business strategy not technology solution. I think this is important and doesn’t get emphasized enough. The best technology can’t solve a problem if there isn’t a plan to follow though and make it work.

The best part of the workshop were the “labs” I think break out groups would have been a better description. One of the labs I chose to take was LAB 2: Photography DAM, which was very good. I learned so much from Carin Forman and gain some good practical advice.

Since this program went better than expected, I’m sure you’ll see more of them at future Createasphere events. I hope so because I do think this is a great basic overview of DAM. In fact maybe they will make an advanced version of this workshop for us alumni to take.

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