23 Things for Professional Development: Thing 1

A couple of months ago I started a blog, Twitter account, RSS feed, and Linkedin profile all on the same day.  Phew!  My old soul got overwhelmed and all I wanted to do was go to the archives and read some eighteenth century manuscripts.  The RSS feed is great, but the other three have been sadly ignored: Twitter and Linkedin send me periodic emails that read somewhere along the lines of “Do you still love me?  What did I do wrong?”  And of course there are only a couple scraggly entries on my blog.  So when I found out about cpd23, I was excited about was having some inspiration for writing and (maybe?) a little bit of an audience. 

Since I’m still an LIS student, one of the things I worry about with blogging is simply having nothing interesting to contribute.  I’ve heard it said that being new to a profession or discipline is like arriving late at a party and trying to enter the conversation.  Of course you won’t know about everything that everyone is saying, but you just have to throw yourself in there and hope for the best.  Unfortunately, I feel like I’m still at the part of the party where I’m trying to concentrate on not spitting cocktail peanuts in anyone’s face while I introduce myself.  As I mentioned before, I’m hoping that cpd23 will help me improve my blogging by giving it a bit of direction and helping me be more focused and confident.

I’m also excited about getting some practice with those two big buzzwords–personal branding and networking.   Both of these make me feel a little sleazy (and slightly greasy?), like when I used to wait tables and the manager would try to get us to upsell people from a plate of cheese sticks to the Munchie Mania Deep-Fried Appetizer Extravaganza.  I know that personal branding and networking don’t have to be manipulative–they can actually help build community and provide a platform for getting ideas out there.  And I’m hoping that with a little practice I’ll be better at them than I was at upselling. 🙂