Communities of Practice

In my previous posts, I looked at being a part of communities online and how that can impact my career, however there are many physical communities of practice which I can also be involved with and that I should be considering. When considering the job of a post production worker, it is quite a lonely profession in the way which you will be often working by yourself for the most part. So, having physical communities in this respect is very important in order to not become too unattached and to keep up to date with everything.

One community I have been involved with for many years, and hope to still have involvement with in some capacity, is Source TV. (CUSU.org, 2016) They provide me with opportunities where I can flex my creative muscles whilst interacting with other aspiring film industry professionals. It is a free to join society it has provided me with contacts for whilst also helping me develop as a media producer in technical skills and networking abilities. This experience has been imperative in advancing as a media professional.

Another network I have begun to be a part of is PostProductionPro, it is a “destination for film and tv post production professionals.”  (Postproductionpro.com, 2016) Whilst this community is available to access online, it has a very big physical presence where you can meet up with individuals in certain locations regularly. As this is a very popular company, I know I will be able to meet even more professional individuals who can teach me things that I don’t know and can help in furthering my career prospects. This is a community that I have only just joined but I have attended one event and met some individuals from it who I believe to be very useful and friendly. This is definitely an option I will be exploring further.

When looking at what professionals think , I researched some advice given by PRfuel on how networking in communities can further your own career and how to analyse whether a network is valuable:

  • Determine if the networking event is aligned with your business goals  Why do you attend networking events? What specifically are you looking to accomplish? Are you looking for business partners? Trying to connect directly with your customers? Recruiting new employees? Your goals will determine which events you should attend. So, if you haven’t figured out what your specific goals are, you need to do that before doing anything else.
  • Set aside an amount of time each month for attending networking events — You can’t spend all of your time attending networking events. Sure, these events can offer a lot, but you have to make sure they don’t become a way for you to avoid doing more important tasks. Again, time is money. So, allot an amount of time to spend at networking events each month, and try to stick to that number.
  • Ask your colleagues about events you’ve never attended — If you come across a new networking group that you’ve never dealt with before, speak to your colleagues to see if they’ve ever attended any of the group’s events. If it’s an event worth attending, there’s a decent chance that someone you know will have attended it before and will be able to provide you with some useful insight.
  • Search online to see if there’s any buzz for the event in question — See an event coming up that you’re thinking about attending? Search the web to see if there’s any buzz building up for the event. Search on Twitter for mentions of the event, or search Google to see if there’s a website for the networking group. If you’re having a hard time finding much information on the web, that’s a sign that the event is probably pretty small and not well organized. Might be best to skip it.
  • Look back at your results — Have you been attending the same networking events over and over with nothing to show for it? That should tell you something. Either the group that you’re networking with isn’t the right fit for you or you’re just not doing a good job at getting the most from the events you’re attending.”

(Ereleases.com, 2012)

So, in the future when looking at networks, I will use these criteria to assess whether it is worthwhile of my time and will it fit me personally and my future career advancement.

When assessing my experience in regards to post production work, it is very advantageous to be part of these communities as you can utilise the other individuals within that community to progress your own career whilst also simultaneously helping them and creating a valuable contact. Thanks to doing this research, I now value these networks more and plan to keep within the ones which I am involved in and sign up for more if they are the correct fit. This is because I see the value of them in furthering both myself as a professional and my career prospects.

References

CUSU.org, (2016) Source Media [online] available from <http://www.cusu.org/source/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Ereleases.com, (2012) How To Determine If That Networking Event Is Worth Attending [online] available from <http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/how-to-determine-if-that-networking-event-is-worth-attending/&gt; [12 April 2016]

Postproductionpro.com, (2016) Postproductionpro.Com [online] available from <http://postproductionpro.com/&gt; [12 April 2016]

 

 

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