Career advice | Professional Development | Mentoring
by Ellen Mehling | January 11, 2018
Q: When I attended library school a decade ago, it was with the intention of working in a public library, but I got drawn into corporate work as a metadata specialist. The work was interesting, the salary was good, and I had loans to pay off. Mission accomplished, I’d like to get back to my original intention. However, I’ve advanced far enough in my corporate career that I suspect my resume is a turn-off for most library hiring managers and have gained little traction in my applications. I’ve considered deeply the step back in pay and seniority I’d have to take, and I’m willing. What can I do to make myself a more attractive candidate?
A: I’d start by examining a large number of public library job postings that interest you, and compare your existing skills and experience to what employers are requesting. Consider which public library-related skills and experience are conveyed clearly by your resume, which ones will need some explanation from you, and which you don’t yet have.
For the ones that require explanation, remember that you are competing for jobs with others that clearly have the experience the employers want and you’ll have to convince the reader of your application documents to contact you for an interview – connect the dots for the hiring manager, make it very clear how your past experience and existing skills would translate or transfer to the new venue. Hiring managers may be skeptical about your suitability based on your past experience; you’ll have to overcome that and be very persuasive in your cover letter in order to get a chance to interview, and be able to explain clearly why you feel you’re a strong candidate in the interview. Read more…
Leadership | Career advice |Professional development | Workplace | Success
by Gwen Moran | January 2, 2018
Virtually every office has one: that employee who is the go-to contact and seems to knows everything and everyone. The office can’t run without her. No one wants to think about what would happen if he ever left.
Being such a critical part of the team has a number of benefits, including a measure of job security. But those indispensable team members don’t get just that way through arbitrary means. If you want to join their ranks, here are seven ways to get there.
Channel Elite Athletes
Elite athletes are constantly trying to improve their performance. They fine-tune the details that allow them to compete at the highest level—and that practice holds some valuable lessons for people who are trying to become exceptional at their jobs, says Porter Braswell, cofounder and CEO of Jopwell, a technology platform that helps black, Latino, and Native American students and professionals unlock opportunities for career advancement.
“What I mean by that is not the ability to run fast, jump high, and all the other physical attributes that come with being an athlete. But more of the tactical, being a good teammate, communicating well, knowing how to work hard, being disciplined, being able to multitask—all the things that come with that athletic mind-set. Competing: That’s the mind-set one has to be in before I believe they can perform well,” Braswell says. Read more…
Library careers | Academic libraries | Career Advice
by Susanne Markgren | January 23, 2018
Q: I need your advice. I have nine years experience in public libraries. I completed my Library Science Degree while working full time. It has been a year since my graduation and I am itching to work in academic libraries. Before library school, I always thought I would end up working in public libraries, however since I have been exposed to all the available options — that has changed.
I enjoy working in public libraries but want to explore academic libraries and I think it is a better fit for my skills. For the past year I have been applying to academic institutions for entry level positions but to date have received no call backs. How do I move from a public library to an academic library with no academic library experience, because most academic vacancies require at least one year experience in an academic environment. Any advice on how I can make myself more employable without having the necessary working experience would be most appreciated.
A: This is a common question, and moving from one type of library to another can be a difficult maneuver, but isn’t impossible. And advice about switching from one type of library to another can be helpful, no matter what type of library. As Ellen said in a previous Q&A, “You’ll need a compelling answer to the question ‘Why are you seeking to make the switch from A to B?’”
Here are a few (other) suggestions:
- Revise your application materials. Look at academic librarian resumes to see how they are formatted and organized. Use the job description to emphasize the aspects of your experience and skills to best match the top job requirements — in both your resume and cover letter.
- Don’t hide the elephant in the room, use your public library experience to your advantage, to make you a unique candidate. Mention in your cover letter how your years working in public libraries will make you an excellent academic librarian – and use examples. Do you work with diverse populations, or a specific ethnic group? Do you have experience with programming, teaching, reference work, access services, systems, collection development? Do you work with high school students? Do you have unique customer service or language expertise? Be specific in your language and the tools you’ve used in your work.
Conferences | Networking | Career advice
Conferences provide excellent business opportunities if you know how to network effectively. At a conference with dozens or hundreds of people, it’s difficult to know where to start. Go in with the intention of making several meaningful connections instead of trying to meet every person or impress the big names. When you leave the conference, you’ll have a list of people with whom you can continue building strong business relationships.
Have concrete goals in mind. You can’t talk to everyone at a conference, so it’s a good idea to go in knowing what you want to get out of it. Do you hope to find an “in” that will eventually lead to a job offer? Do you want to garner more business for your company? Perhaps you simply want to meet people in your line of work and foster a deeper connection with others in your industry.
- Your goals will influence which panels you attend and which people you seek to meet. Instead of just going with the flow, plan out your time so you’re utilizing each hour to work toward your goals.
- Remember that you’ll be more successful if you’re open to other people’s pitches instead of just trying to push your own agenda on people. Getting to know people is a good goal in and of itself, since it leads to long-term relationships that just don’t happen if you’re tossing out as many business cards as possible without taking time to have real conversations.
Leadership | Management | Supervision |Workplace
Dr. Travis Bradberry | May 24, 2017
Six times Google has topped Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Most people assume that Google tops the list because of their great benefits and all of the fun and perks that they pack into the Googleplex. But that’s just part of the equation.
Google knows that people don’t leave companies; they leave bosses. But unlike most companies, who wait around hoping for the right bosses to come along, Google builds each Googler the boss of their dreams.
Their people analytics team starts by researching the qualities that make managers great at Google. These managers aren’t just high performers, they receive high marks for their leadership from the people that report to them. They’re the managers everyone wants to work for.
Next Google built a training program that teaches every manager how to embrace these qualities. Once managers complete the program, Google measures their behavior to ensure that they’re making improvements and morphing into managers that Googlers want to work for.
Google is building bosses that are so good, they’re unforgettable. And why do they do it? In the words of Laszlo Bock, Google’s SVP of People Operations, “Our best managers have teams that perform better, are retained better, are happier — they do everything better.” Read more…
Leadership | Workplace | Motivation
by Larry Bonfante | September 21, 2017
A number of years ago, I was interviewed by a major trade journal and was asked about my leadership style. One question the interviewer specifically asked me was, “How do you lead people?”
I answered him in a grammatically incorrect way (I’m having flashbacks to the nuns smacking my knuckles with a ruler!). I stated emphatically that I don’t lead people, I lead persons!
While this may be grammatically incorrect, I feel strongly that it makes a critically important point. You see, each of us is wired differently. Each person is a unique combination of talents, competencies, attitudes, preferences, etc. What matters deeply to me may not mean a hill of beans to you. What motivates you may be of no consequence to me.
Leading persons is about understanding what makes them tick as individuals and then tailoring a personalized value proposition that resonates with each of them. Read more…
Workplace | Communication | Career advice
by Travis Bradberry | LinkedIn Influencer | 03-20-16
When you’re a nice person, conflict can be a real challenge. Not that mean people are any better at conflict; they just enjoy it more.
New research from Columbia University shows that how you handle conflict can make or break your career. The researchers measured something scientifically that many of us have seen firsthand—people who are too aggressive in conflict situations harm their performance by upsetting and alienating their peers, while people who are too passive at handling conflict hinder their ability to reach their goals.
The secret to effective handling of conflict is assertiveness—that delicate place where you get your needs met without bullying the other person into submission. Assertive people strike a careful balance between passivity and aggression (that is, they never lean too far in either direction).