There have been nine key points in my career, and not all of them were great. Two of the positive ones brought me to where I am now, as a comms and intranet consultant / freelancer / associate / whatever.
In 2011, I was casually unemployed. I say ‘casually’ as I wasn’t looking for work as I assumed something would come along at the right time (it did). But being unemployed, money was tight and so I was very grateful when Kurt Kragh Sørensen tweeted me to invite me to IntraTeam Event Copenhagen – one of the very best intranet conferences that I know.
I still worried about the flight and accommodation costs, but the free ticket to the three day event meant that I could justify the expense as an investment in my career.
I had a fantastic time – was amazing to be surrounded by so many intranet people (it was my first intranet conference) – and one day at lunch, I met Sam Marshall in the flesh.
Fast forward to 2014, and Sam engaged my services to write blog articles over on the ClearBox website, and occasionally help out with intranet clients.
I’m sure Sam might have noticed my work (and my availability) else-wise, but I can’t help thinking our working relationship was seeded at the IntraTeam conference.
As you may know, I now run an intranet conference, and while I can’t promise you a career changing experience, there’s nothing stopping you creating one! The people in the room are all intranet and comms people, so you never know what relationships might blossom. I’ve even arranged for a cheap ticket for anyone currently unemployed.
Another thing I’ve done for a decade that has paid dividends is blogging. Kilobox Communiqué began when I started as a ‘Corporate Communicator’ (and intranet editor) at a large global enterprise. As my role developed, so did my blogging. When I changed jobs or companies, my blogging continued (and my managers always understood my approach).
A decade ago, there were more practitioners blogging, I think. Several that I used to carefully follow have either become more senior within the corporate world (and so reduced their blogging output) or become freelancers / consultancies and increased their blogging output (albeit with different foci).
My blogging habits have had ups and downs too, but sharing my experience and exploring the limits of that experience is still very important to me. I may love Twitter, but learning from longer-form writing is crucial to my development. And I don’t always want to read an intranet guide from an intranet vendor — I want to read ‘how to’ guides from people using the software and achieving their own business aims.
Blogging is dying and blogging is easier than ever. And blogging isn’t ‘web logging’ anymore, it’s publishing.
A few years ago, Dan Hawtrey at Content Formula noticed my blog and got me involved a little. In 2014, Dan engaged my services to run the Content Formula blog and occasionally help out with intranet clients.
I’m not saying you should blog or publish as part of your career aspirations; I’m saying that there is a loosely coupled community and it’s strung across blogs, social networks, and community events.
I am, so subtly, saying that you should get out of your office and get off Wikipedia and join the intranet community. Come to Intranet Now on the 13th of October, in London. You never know who you’ll meet or what cascade effect might be triggered.
Great advice, Wedge. See you at the conference soon!