Connected, baby!

You’re enjoying your career working with a great team. And then you have a baby. Congratulations!

After a period of joy, angst, laughter, sleep deprivation parental leave you return to work. In a couple of weeks you settle back into the swing of things. Right? Err, not quite.

Not for the most obvious, life changing reasons. A lot can happen in six months or a year in a large enterprise. When you return you might have a new manager. A new job title. There could be a reorganisation. Maybe even a company acquisition. Some of your colleagues could change positions. New people might join the team. There will be different work methods and techniques introduced over time. If you are working part time so you might miss out on team events. Some days you may need to work from home. Suddenly, you are the new girl, again (and in my case, again…and again with the arrival of three precious little boy wonders.)

Throw social media into the mix and things start looking up.

It’s easier for people to know more about you. And for you to know more about them. Quickly.
Your network is now extended to a global “team”. You have access to the latest insights, techniques and thought leadership. Mentoring is no longer restricted to the people you see in the office. Your ability to find relevant information is significantly improved. You’re connected, baby!

When I returned to work after my most recent parental leave in June last year, I found it so much easier to connect. I could access blogs, wikis, communities, social bookmarks, search for people using tags on our directory, meet up with colleagues in a virtual world and see their photos on Flickr or Facebook. Very quickly, I felt much more connected to the company through the people I work with. I have also been able to be part of some fun and rewarding initiatives as a result.

Social media is a great way to connect with people in the workplace, especially for those returning from extended leave, working part time, in global teams and for people working from home or at a client location. Don’t you think?