I’m always amazed at what happens when you take a chance, step outside the proverbal “box”, and do something different.
Around two weeks ago I wanted to re-energize my networking and reconnect with friends and colleagues following the loss of my job due to a reduction in force. As a member of the America Society for Training and Development (ASTD) DC Chapter, I decided to look on the chapter’s website for groups where I could further develop my skills and interests in technology and learning. After sending a request to join the Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) and gaining confirmation, I immediately signed up for a webinar on tools to deliver technology-based learning.
The webinar was moderated by Adam and the hour session included four engaging speakers. It only tool me a few seconds to realize that Adam was a fellow Aussie so following his presentation, I initiated private chat over the web conferencing interface. Adam and I then continued our conversation via email and arranged a time to personally meet for drinks and discussions. I met Adam on Wednesday this week and we thoroughly enjoyed chatting about international work experiences, life in the USA and our mutual interests in technology in learning. It’s always great to meet with a “bloke from down under” and share some stories!
Adam mentioned one point that really stuck in my mind. He stated that everyone should actively seek and and conduct at least one informational interview with a colleague or business contact at least every six months. Although online networking on web 2.0 is imperative, it’s also critical to keep personal contacts and to learn how and where you can leverage your skills and expertise and increase the value of your personal brand.
The world definitely is becoming a smaller place as people create and nurture their personal and professional networks. Technology is addictive and is the key to learning and developing at what Don Tapscott described as “twitch speed” (in reference to the net generation.) The experience is fun so enjoy the ride and become involvedI