As an employee of the Federal government, particularly in Communications, building a professional network is paramount. It is quite common to find yourself working with the same folks at a number of departments, and across working groups, so it becomes important to develop lasting relationships with these individuals.
Most recently, I’ve attended a number of in-person professional development events, which have enabled me to broaden my professional network. I try to take advantage of training opportunities to engage fellow government communicators and identify common strengths and issues. Online, I’ve been participating in forums on GCPedia, a federal government blog, to contribute some insights that might be useful to other communicators. I also contribute to an online collaborative environment within my department.
Outside of work, I’ve been working to develop my professional network by volunteering for a Board of Directors, participating on LinkedIn, and by joining online discussion forums on a number of related topics.
Over the next 6-12 months, I have to say my strategy may suffer somewhat. I’m moving to a new home in April, and am expecting a second child in May. I’ll be doing my best over the next four months to wrap up any long-term projects, and will make myself available as much as possible over my maternity leave to volunteer, provide guidance to my replacement and to ensure the longevity of the strategies I’ve put in place at work.
I think over the next 6-12 months, it will become my priority to keep on top of changes in the workplace, and my focus will turn from in-person to more online activities. I’ll be communicating regularly with the office, with my Board, and with my peers, to ensure that upon my return, I won’t skip a beat.