For the past few months I feel like I’ve been adrift professionally. I certainly enjoy what I do and the people around me. I’ve just had the sense that something is missing.
I can’t say I’ve come across a single catalyst in the material I was reading this morning. However, today I really took note of the large number of people sharing information on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and I feel just a bit left out. I have accounts on those and other networking sites and services, and have vacillated between being a dilettante and an active user. I read lots of blog entries, and just recently – finally – launched one of my own. I don’t have a rhythm that incorporates work, family and online activity.
I’ve been out of the tech industry full time for 6½ years now. In those days – predating social networks and the proliferation of blogs – I felt pretty connected. In retrospect, I relied on my milieu a great deal to show me the way online. Everyone around me was plugged in, so I was too.
And I was plugged in to my peers and mentors. I had a large communications community to consult and counsel, learn from and teach, emulate and share with. Although my circles were primarily tech, they weren’t exclusively so. I was reasonably well-rounded.
As I’ve put these thoughts into words (one of the magical side effects of blogging is self-discovery) I’ve figured out that I’m missing a couple of elements in my current professional life – community and mentors. I now have some ideas about how to reacquire what I’d lost several years ago. It’s time to try them out. And I know it’s time to network.