May 3, 2010

Here's My Card...

Where was I during April? I just logged in and realized that my last post is from March 25th. Seeing as that was well over a month ago I guess it's high time I published something new. You know, for my loyal following...

I was busy in April. I have a job, it's just not a library job, but it still manages to keep me very busy. I've also been applying for that elusive first position. I think I've sent out hundreds (literally hundreds) of resumes since I began my job search. At least 30 or so during the month of April. I'm still volunteering at the health library. I also hosted my book club meeting in April. Many things have been occupying my time. It seems I was very busy last month. All the while a very important anniversary passed. Perhaps the anniversary has more to do with the lack of blogging than all of the other things combined. I didn't really want to acknowledge the date, but I might as well since I'm here. On April 17th, 2010, I "celebrated" the anniversary of my first year post MLIS. Yes, a whole year and I still don't have a professional position. See, this is why I didn't want to acknowledge it. I sound like I'm having a pity party or something. I'm really not. It just sounds like that... wait, this isn't really the reason I came here to blog today. So, Happy Anniversary to me. Sorry for the lack of posts. I was busy. Let's move on.

No, the reason I'm blogging today has more to do with networking than anything else. Throughout April I attended a couple networking functions. The functions were all basically the same. Many librarians gather to discuss libraries, current opportunities, and new ideas. There might even be food, and possibly libations of one type or another. Generally, I have a great time at these events and I love meeting new people. That being said, I think I've been making a huge mistake whenever I attend a function. I keep forgetting to bring business cards with me. No, that's not true. I don't even have business cards. I end up writing my information down on whatever is available when I meet a new person. A napkin; another person's card; a handout. Anything I can find. As a result, I probably end up look super disorganized and possibly idiotic. Most of my peers understand that the reason I don't have cards has more to do with me not being affiliated with an organization than with me; however, after the last function I made up some snazzy little cards with my name, e-mail address, and phone number as soon as I got home. I could probably add my LinkedIn profile and blog as well. Note to self.

Regardless of the fact that I didn't have cards, I managed to collect a number of cards from other people. It was a fun exercise. Each time I attended an event, I seemed to come home with more cards than I did after the last event; however, what am I to do with these cards? I searched the Internet to find out what the "authorities" say regarding what to do with business cards once you get them, but to no avail. Most sites informed me that I should never leave home without my business cards, especially because I'm searching for a job. This reaffirmed what I already knew of course.

I asked (who else?) a librarian friend of mine what she does with cards. Are you supposed to e-mail or call immediately? Do you wait 2 days to be "money"? What's the protocol? She said that she keeps them on file to refer to later. There might be an opportunity that you can mine the connection for advice about. They also might connect with you later depending on your specialties and resources. Of course! Building a network is just like building a reference section or other library. Duh! And what do you know, a job just became available at a library that one of my new connections works at. Okay, I have to go work on an application now. See you next month!