I love being part-time. Like so many folks I have the career thing bubbling on the hob with the family thing. When these ‘things’ are in balance I have found being part-time allows me some useful perspective. I don’t get as mired in inertia and cynicism as I have occasionally found happens when doing 9-5 Monday to Friday. However, and at the moment this feels like a large however, when things are out of balance I do find that time is very much relative to the observable number of tasks. Throw in for instance a few unplanned trips to the vets/dentists/doctors, a half-term break and some birthdays and whoops, cpd23 has dropped into a black hole. (If you are a physicist feel free to weep into your keyboard at my woeful time dilation analogy).
Therefore with pragmatism in mind I’m going to skip through the next few cpd23 ‘Things’ at lightning speed, make a pledge and ask for your advice.
1) The cpd23 ‘Things’
Thing 7 – real networks. When evaluating my non-existent, current engagement with real-life, face-to-face, formal, professional networks I realise that my lack of engagement epitomizes the part-time but fully professional problem. Where and how do I make time for this? How do other part-time people make this happen? In the past, what I have enjoyed the most is poking about other people’s libraries. When I have attended or spoken at conferences or events I have often gained the most from the tours or the informally formed lunchtime alliances. It’s through these that I have got the best feel for what works for them in their setting and what I might take home to try out for myself.
As with the previous ‘Thing’ for me it’s all about managing the degree of my engagement. At this point in my career I feel that online/virtual networking is very much more manageable and perhaps this will have to stand in lieu of what I might have previously done in person.
Thing 8 – Google Calendar. I have used other shared, online calendars and I have found them to be great for setting up meetings and quite useful for managing your time and tasks (as is a paper notepad and diary). However, where I currently work, Google calendar is available but not in common usage and so my calendar which I have diligently populated at part of cpd23 sits in splendid isolation.
Thing 9 – Evernote. I investigated Evernote a while back and I just didn’t ‘get it’, has it changed somewhat in the last few months? It now seems to offer similar functionality to Storify, Scoop.it and Paper.li – a useful introduction to which can be found over at The Library Cauldron. I’ve yet to find a work use for these web/social media content management/sharing tools, but I now know that they are there. Hopefully a use will reveal itself in time, I’d be interested in hearing the experiences of anyone who has used these in a work context.
2) A pledge
I would like to make more time to foster real-life networks. If we are all still here and all still doing cpd23 stuff in September I will seriously consider making time to attend (I’m sooo cautious of saying organising) something. Bit of a pathetic pledge, but hey, I might get more bold as cpd23 progresses!
Whether you are part-time or full-time I’d be really interested in finding how you make time for your professional development. We all have different responsibilities and many and varied calls on our time. How do you make time for your professional engagement and development?