Returning to work after the Christmas holidays can be difficult. Instead of being frozen in a time vacuum, work tends to mount in your absence, unleashing itself in a mini-crescendo as you open your Outlook mailbox to be confronted with an unrelenting barrage of responsibilities.
Fortunately in my case, there was no time for lamentation at the grim coal face. I had work to do for the IDIMC conference at Loughborough University, where I was to present my paper entitled “Social networking sites and employment status: an investigation based on Understanding Society data”.
I travelled to the conference with fellow PhD students Frances Ryan and Iris Buunk, and research supervisor Professor Hazel Hall. All things considered, it was a very successful 2 days for me and my CSI colleagues.
Frances won prizes for the best conference paper (open to all) and for the best 5-minute-madness presentation (open to PhD students wishing to showcase their work). Not only that, but Iris won the best poster (open to all). Combined, this was a fairly remarkable achievement given that those awards constituted a clean sweep of the spoils.
On a personal level, I was very happy about my own contribution to the event. My paper presentation went smoothly, and I feel as though I communicated its purpose and relevance to my overall research project. My 5-minute-madness slot was also very useful (you can see me presenting it in the photograph above), as it gave me an opportunity to discuss my research project on a conversational basis, and to emphasise the benefits of employing an information behaviour theory perspective to the study of job search. I felt this was important, as job search theory is not an area that has been studied widely in the field of information science.
Contrary to the fear-inducing new year expectations, it has been a very welcome start to 2016. Many thanks to the organisers of the conference and to all the delegates for creating a warm and supportive environment. Also, thanks to my supervisors and co-authors Hazel, Robert and Peter for their continued support.