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Itís Finally Spring Ė Get Out and Network!

The long days of winter have ended. Spring is finally here! The vast majority of us are already thinking of all the things we have to do around the house or cottage and that workload at the office keeps growing in leaps and bounds. Our bosses keep telling us that we should take advantage of additional learning opportunities, but who has the time?

Nathaly Pinchuk,
Executive Director
Well, networking and educational opportunities outside of the office should be a key priority for you. Find some time to take advantage of it now. Youíve been cooped up in your offices and homes all winter. Thereís lots of learning and networking now. Do it while you still can!

Itís been proven that social interaction is good for your health. Networking is good for your career. Even with all the online social networks available, thereís nothing like face to face contact and conversation. Who is going to remember you solely through emails or posts, particularly when there are ideal venues where you can exchange ideas in person or learn a few things to take back to share with your colleagues?

Not that long ago, our mail boxes and email boxes were flooded with thousands of workshops, conferences, symposiums and programs on every topic imaginable. Did you notice that youíre not seeing as much of those as you did a few years ago? Factors such as decreased attendance, increased overhead and decreased spending have played a major role.

Yes, you now have the benefit of online programs, webinars, podcasts and virtual conferences so you never have to leave your desk. This only adds to our average eight to ten hours daily at our desk. Do we really need more time there?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to get out and meet others in your field as well as continue to learn. No one can say they know everything. Live in-person workshops and conferences enable you to become known and learn. Webcams donít do the same trick! You canít possibly know the real inside story with some organizations by staying locked in your office. Getting out and being seen has lead to job offerings, getting news about employers in your region before it hits the media and discovering new tools and strategies before the rest of the world finds out. Can you really afford to pass on these opportunities?

We at IPM have continually tried to offer professional development workshops and conferences across Canada at extremely low rates. Weíve noticed that member support is down, though we do get more subscribers and corporate guests at every event. These events were initially intended and very much supported by members. If we donít get the member support, we will no longer be able to offer these programs at rates which you can pay for out of your pocket if your employer doesnít have the budget.

Another advantage of getting out to PD events beyond learning is that you can use them when itís time for recertification. Not only do you get to share the valuable information learned with your work teams, but you can consider this continuing education from which every one of us can benefit.

Take the next step. Check out the events in your area. Get out and meet people. It will improve your overall health and professional well-being!


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