I attended my first networking meeting at church yesterday, and it was a remarkably positive experience. It's good to get together with people who are in the same position that you are and to talk about the frustrations and the hopes that we all have. I got a few leads on organizations that I might want to join, including ASTD (the American Society for Training and Development). They have special interest groups that deal with specific areas of the training business. One of the groups is a networking group for independent and consulting trainers, who get together for breakfast on a regular basis. Joining the organization sounds like a good use of $95 at this point.
I said a while back that I saw my career moving in a freelance, free agent direction. That would give me the latitude to explore other areas perhaps not directly related to conducting instructor-led training and doing course and curriculum development. Such as voice over work. I took a couple of classes in doing voice overs a while back. I can see doing voice overs for computer-based training modules. Maybe I could do voice over work for cartoons (Cartoon Network is based in Atlanta, you know). I can see taking time to write. Maybe even standup comedy. Who knows? I can see myself building a portfolio career, where I don't do just one thing, but branch into multiple areas, more or less related to one another.
I did want to share one funny thing that happened today. Mary and I came up here with the idea of browsing through antique stores. I like to look at old books, sports and military memorabilia, Mary likes to look for things with a cat or knitting motif. Anyway, hanging in the back of one of the shops that we went to was someone's reproduction of this painting...
Most of you recognize this as Frans Hals' "The Laughing Cavalier". It occurred to me that this might be the perfect going away gift for my boss, who has told me on more than one occasion that I have a cavalier attitude toward my work. Some of you might remember my documenting this a while back, as a matter of fact. I'm tempted to call my company Cavalier Training Consultants for that very reason, although Mary doesn't think it would be appropriate...Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny. Think he'd figure out the connection?
Later Edit: You know, he kind of looks like me...maybe I should get a copy of the picture and paste my mug over the guy's face. Ya think?