Career Development Education Networking Social Media

Why You Need a PLN

What is a PLN?
A PLN is a Personal Learning Network.  A personal learning network is a group of people in your network who can guide you, educate you, and even inspire you with their expertise.  Think of it as a group of mentors.  Your PLN can be people you know or experts you admire that you don’t know.

Why Do I Need A PLN?
You need a PLN because mentors, thought leaders, and experts can provide you with personal information gained from their experience which is invaluable and something you will never get from school alone.  The best way to learn and prepare for your career is to become as much of an expert as you possibly can in what interests you.  In the process, you will not only learn priceless information, you may even make a few connections to your network.

How do you Get a PLN?
Make a list of the people you know in your network who you can learn from regarding your career interests.  This may be instructors, Career Advisors, friends, or even family.  Be specific about what you want to learn.  For instance, it would be inappropriate to get career advice from a friend with no expertise but a Career Advisor would be excellent for this.  However, you may have a friend who is the best person in your school when it comes to Photoshop from whom you can learn.

Use Twitter to Build a PLN
The next thing you should do is identify people (tweeple) to follow on Twitter.  Want to find the most influential people in Technology, Fashion Design, Game Design, Film, Social Media, Job Searching, or any other topic? Just search Twitter using those tags and you can start building a PLN of the most influential people on Twitter.  There are people on Twitter who have built a following around a certain topic because they are experts, they share valuable information, and they inspire others.  LinkedIn is another great tool to build your own personal PLN.  A PLN isn’t just for recent graduates, it is important for anyone wishing to continue to develop themselves and improve their professional knowledge.  It is a concept for any life long learner.  Don’t you think you should be learning from other experts?  You can always start buy subscribing to my RSS Feed or following me on Twitter to start your own PLN.

You may also want to read:

  1. HOW TO: Use Twitter to Build a PLN
  2. 3 Ways to Find a Job on Twitter
  3. What is a Micro Resume?
  4. The New Background Check: Make Sure You Pass It
  5. If You Want Employers to Notice You, Stand in Front of Traffic

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