You’ve graduated, you have your degree….now what?!? Joining a professional network can really help get your career off the ground. It can put you in touch with the individuals that have the power to hire or it can simply provide you with the inspiration and confidence you need to get out there and start interviewing.
I recently attended the annual meeting of the Medical Library Association. I realize this may not sound very exciting to most people, but for me, it was a way to reconnect with my profession. Working in one small area of the medical library profession, it was great to hear speakers from across the industry give presentations on what they are doing in their own libraries. Hearing other professionals talk about the projects they’re working on and the obstacles they face can validate what you’re doing and give you some hints on how to do it even better.
Many professional organizations provide mentors and peer-training programs for their members. At each professional event, I’ve met people who I can now use as networking connections or as mentors. If I should have a question about a program I’m trying to start or I’m facing a difficult decision, it can’t hurt to get advice from somebody that has already been there!
I also use these annual meetings as an opportunity to find out about new technology trends in my field. I’ve heard from vendors and saw demonstrations for new products that won’t even be hitting the market for another few months. Being aware of these new trends at their early stages can give you a real advantage. This is something that you can use to market yourself to potential employers or keep your skills up to date for the position you currently hold.
If you’re interested in developing your professional network or staying up on current trends in your field of study, Touro College Libraries Jobs and Careers LibGuide contains great tips for starting your professional journey. Speak to one of your librarians to help search for organizations in your field of interest.