With the increasing use of social networking sites such as Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest etc there is no excuse not to get professionally involved in project management groups to widen your networks – however some groups can seem a little cliquey to begin with and when first starting out it can seem like your first day at a new school when you have no friends. The key to engaging with groups is to make sure you sit back and take a look at how others communicate, gaining a sense of etiquette and what is OK to talk about will set you in good stead to start engaging with like-minded individuals. Do not be afraid to ask questions to get involved in the groups and strike up a conversation. Also take a look at some of the more prominent and respected members of the groups to see their backgrounds and read through their blogs. Taking an interest in a particular subject or adding your opinion will gain you credibility quite quickly too. Once you start to strike up conversations you will find others get involved and add their comments too.
If you have a particular interest in a subject then research to see if there are groups already formed covering the subject and also check out journals – each month they will pick topics for their content and you may well have something you can add in the form of an article. Make sure you are prominent in social networks if you plan to do this so others can make contact after reading your article. You will be surprised by how many do make the effort to make contact to discuss the subject further or simply to agree / disagree with your opinions.
As a project professional I would suggest as a bare minimum you have a Linkedin account which is up to date and a twitter account which will help you be contactable – then join in some of the active groups, there are hundreds on Linkedin and a good starting point for twitter would be #pmot and #pmchat.
By widening your network you will naturally start to keep abreast of new techniques being used and also share in the war stories of project professionals in the battlefield of project management. Not only will this enhance your working knowledge of PPM you may also get to hear about new job opportunities, writing articles for journals will enhance your resume and demonstrate your dedication to the PPM profession.