Career advice | Mentoring | Social networking
“Focus on WHO instead of HOW” — Dean Jackson
There’s a famous story of Edwin C. Barnes, who in 1905 had no money or expertise. However, he was an ardent fan of the inventor, Thomas Edison.
Barnes wanted to become business partners with Edison. He knew that if he became partners with Edison, there would be no limits on what he could accomplish. He took a freight train to New Jersey and walked straight to the Edison Laboratory.
He was wearing musty and scrappy clothes and told Edison he wanted to go into business with him. Edison was impressed by the boldness and made Barnes a floor sweeper. Read more…
Mentoring | Coaching | Career Advice
July 10, 2018
HBR Staff/Richard Newstead/Getty Images
“Tell me about your career goals.” How often have you said this to a person you’re managing or mentoring, only to get a blank stare in return? Perhaps the person confides that they don’t know what their goals should be, or even whether there are opportunities to advance at your company. How do you begin to provide support?
Career dissatisfaction is a growing challenge in today’s world, which is why we’ve decided to do things differently at Weight Watchers, with the help of LifeLabs Learning. The results of CEB’s 2015 employee survey capture the problem well: 70% of employees surveyed (across many industries) reported being dissatisfied with career opportunities at their company — a disturbing figure given that it is one of the biggest drivers of engagement and retention. At the same time, 75% of organizations said they expected to face a shortage of necessary skills and knowledge among their employees. So, on the one hand, employees feel they can’t advance fast enough, and on the other, companies believe employees are growing too slowly. How can such a blatant and dangerous contradiction exist? And what can we do about it? Read more…
Career advice | Professional development | Librarianship
By April Witteveen | June 28, 2018
Voices of experience on switching roles or types of libraries
The term librarian embraces many kinds of jobs, and often the first place someone lands isn’t the perfect fit. Browsing the classifieds can turn up postings that pique a library worker’s interest but may be in another type of library from the one where they’re currently employed, or the job description may comprise a different skill set. These librarians we spoke with have all made a midstream jump, and they share their insight on what it took to move into a new branch of the field.
Preparing for the Shift
As someone who’s made the change from metadata librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to high school librarian with Fairfax County Schools, Springfield, VA, Lisa Koch recommends first taking time for self-reflection. “What is it about your past position that you liked? What are you looking for in your new position? What can you do now to connect your present position to the future?” While the fundamentals of librarianship will inform job descriptions across the field, she notes that there can also be “important differences” that deserve consideration. Addressing gaps in knowledge or experience through volunteering, part-time work, and professional development will be worth the time. “You will have a better sense of potential concerns your [future] employer may have and identify potential areas of growth,” says Koch. Read more…
FROM HIGHER ED TO HIGH SCHOOL Former University of California, Santa Barbara metadata librarian Lisa Koch (ctr.), now a high school librarian for Fairfax County Schools, VA, in the library with the “amazing” teachers of Robert E. Lee H.S., Springfield
Leadership | Management | Librarianship
by Steven Bell | June 28, 2018
What type of leader are you? What is your purpose, and who do you serve? Some new research about leaders’ mindsets examines assumptions and beliefs about the nature and purpose of leadership—and how to make the most of it.
Leaders are like experiences. When they are exceedingly good or bad we remember them passionately. In addition to finding their way into our long-term memory, an exceptionally great or toxic leader or experience can alter or shape our personal paradigm of how the world works. That’s why it’s common to hear from librarians how a truly memorable leader influenced their thinking about leadership, as well as the way in which they go on to practice it. A remarkable leader leaves indelible lessons for how to treat followers, lead with humility, and create a lasting legacy of productive accomplishment. Toxic leaders do the same, but the lesson and legacy is about what not to do. If asked, “How would you like to be remembered as a leader?” would any library leader aspire to anything other than “remarkable,” avoiding being seen as the “what not to do” model at all costs? Read more…
Networking | Communication | Career advice
A therapist gave us advice for how to get over it
Jessica Dore | Jun 19, 2018
It can be difficult to know the difference between having social anxiety and being awkward, introverted, or shy. The American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines social anxiety as “a persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations” that involve being “exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others.”
Modern life provides us with constant opportunities to be scrutinized by others, and while few among us wouldn’t be nervous about giving a work presentation or a speech at a wedding, an ongoing fear of saying the wrong thing in casual conversations can become problematic. Conversation anxiety, though not itself a disorder, is an aspect of social anxiety that can make dates, parties, and mixers anywhere from mildly stressful to intolerable.
Self Management | Lifelong Learning | Information
by Matt Plummer and Jo Wilson | June 05, 2018
Today we consume five times more information every day than we did in 1986, an incredible amount that’s equivalent to a 174 newspapers…a day. That probably includes a lot of Instagram posts, but it’s not only social media. The corporate e-learning space has grown by nine times over the last 16 years, such that almost 80% of U.S. companies offer online training for their employees, making more information accessible to them than ever before.
One would think that this would translate into increased knowledge. Yet, unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. Scores of average American adults on tests of general civic knowledge — the type of information you’d assume people would pick up from scanning through all this information — has remained almost constant for the last 80 years. On the corporate side, working professionals apply only about 15% of what they learn in many corporate training and development programs in many cases.
We’re consuming more information but not learning more. In short, we have become less productive learners. Read more…
Networking | Conferences | Lifehack
by Jordana Valencia
May 09, 2018
Whether it’s attending startup events, social gatherings, or happy hours, networking is a necessary part of every entrepreneur’s life. Seventy-eight percent of entrepreneurs agree that networking is crucial to startup success, which is why there are a myriad of articles online about how to master and love the art of networking.
But networking can be extremely draining. Imagine the countless hours entrepreneurs spend talking, traveling, and socializing with contacts and potential investors. Excessive social interaction can be physically and mentally exhausting for anyone — even extroverts. In fact, many of the founders I coach describe networking as draining, saying it sometimes robs them of the energy they need to work on actual business operations. Read more…