Professional Networking, Now And In The Future

As of a year ago, I did not have a formal strategy for networking.  I am currently between finishing one career and looking to the future, so I returned to school to build on my creative side and to help guide me to a career change.  Currently, I have a very well developed network in my aquatic word, but I would like to see myself using my Social Media Certificate program to work with young entrepreneurs once I retire. 

My first step was working on my online portfolio.  LinkedIn was my primary focus as this is where business relationships are formed.  I updated my profile to add in that I’m a social media student and this led me connect with others in the field.  I also joined a variety of groups within LinkedIn, so this helps me read up on different events of stories related to social media, social marketing and Public Relations.  

For this course requirements, we needed to sign up for a networking event.  I had never attended an event that wasn’t required to attend for work.  I am excited to see how it is, as the event is the AGM for the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).  The keynote speaker is Bob Pickard, Principal at Signal Leadership Communications.  He will be speaking about PR in the C-Suite and how there is a missed opportunity in the potential influence of top executives using social media.  If this organization looks like an interesting group to network with, I may join as a member.

For the future, my plan is to post more on LinkedIn about Social Media to attract more people to my profile.  In turn, I am hoping that this will lead to more networking events and making more connections.  The other profile that I am working on is my own personal branding through my personal website.  Although still a work in progress, I am blogging there and showing casing some my photography. I also have a live feed of my twitter, which will show that I keep up to date and current with my social media platforms.  This is something that I am contemplating spending some money on in the future as I am not as happy with the look as I would like for a sample of an live resume for securing future work.

In my aquatic professional development, I have 2 important speaking engagements coming up.  In November, I am presenting a session on developing social media campaigns for local drowning prevention coalitions.  As well at this conference, I will be leading a plenary session on incorporating the World Health Organization drowning prevention plan into you local coalitions.  Next year, I will be attending and have submitted an abstract to speak at the that conference which is in South Africa.  I did attend and speak at that conference last year in Vancouver, which helped grow my networks.

I do have 3 more years in my career, so I am still hopeful that I can master WordPress to make an appealing website.  Excited for my networking event tonight and will be writing about it as we come to an end to this course.

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