When trying to beak into a sector it is generally essential to try to establish an effective and efficient network of people to call on. Knowing people and being in with people in the know helps you to progress in your career and create opportunities for advancement in the future. The heritage and cultural sector is a small one in Ireland and abroad. After finishing university we felt that in order to succeed in this industry we needed to become the people in the know.
We have all been there. Fresh out of university, red bowed degree in hand, ready to take on the big bad world of museums and heritage one conference at a time. The morning of your first conference arrives, you alight in crisply ironed dress and shiny new shoes, stomach knotted with anticipation of who you will network with, the partnerships that will develop, and career trajectory that will be born from this one pivotal moment in your life. Only to find that once you put your foot across the threshold you are too afraid to speak to anyone and everyone else is so busy catching up and making plans for museum world domination that your presence is barely noted. So you move from tea table to corner, all the time sliding along the wall, hoping to meld with it. Along the way you pick up a few other newbies, some you already know, some recent graduates and interns from other parts of the country. After a short bonding session full of nervous laughter you have made yourself quite the collection of new friends.
Everyone is in the same boat, we all want to network, we know we need to but somehow just can not work out how to do it. This is where our network comes in. We knew we had to do something about it, be proactive. Something had to change, if we can’t crack the inner circle we were going to have to create our own and one which welcomes new comers from diverse backgrounds and skill ranges. Over many wine filled discussions with various professionals in the sector, we realised that there was a need for communication. An outlet for professionals both emerging and established, allowing members to network, create links, share ideas and advice and create meet ups.
This is where our sparkling idea was born.
The response has been phenomenal and unexpected. Knowing there was a need for the network was one thing but being at the epicenter as it has flourished has been both rewarding and exciting. The network has given us the opportunity to create links with many professionals in the sector that we may not have gotten the opportunity to otherwise. Links and working relationships have been established through the page as well as giving people an outlet to share their views. On numerous occasions the network has acted as a safety net giving people the confidence to attend an event knowing a fellow member will be there.
The network has been a lot of work to establish, monitoring content and trying to create conversations has meant that much of our spare time is devoted to it, however it is a small price to pay when you see the changes the network has made.
We hope to see the network grow even further but for the time being we are definitely enjoying the buzz and excitement it has brought into our careers. If anyone would like to know more why not check out the network and if you feel the urge you are welcome to join. We welcome new members and contrary to the exclusive name we would love to have members from outside of Ireland.