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…
Conferences | Networking | Professional Development
by Kyle Ewing | People Operations | October 1, 2017
It’s that time of year again! On October 4, more than 18,000 people will convene in Orlando for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. As the world’s largest gathering of women in tech, GHC can be an action-packed and incredibly rewarding experience. Over three days, there are hundreds of sessions, ranging from keynote addresses, to panels and presentations by industry leaders. Add in the largest career fair I’ve ever seen and conference-related social events, and it can be hard to know where to focus your time. But with the right approach, you can learn new skills, hear about trends in your field, and make lasting connections — both professionally and personally. Whether you’re a student off to your first big conference or a seasoned pro, here are some tips that fellow Googlers and I use to navigate events like GHC:
1. Make a plan.
Have a goal for what you would like to get out of the conference. Are you there to learn and gain knowledge? Want to make new networking connections? Is there a colleague or potential mentor who you want to support? Go through the agenda and devise a plan tailored to your goal. (Conference apps are great for this.) And have a backup plan in case that session you were dying to go to is jam-packed.
2. Divide and conquer.
If you’re attending with co-workers, try splitting up and then sharing notes. Regroup during meals or at the end of the day to share key learnings and takeaways. Read more…
Competencies | Career development | Library Skills
by Betha Gutsche and Brenda Hough, editors.
19 March 2015
Looking to take your career to the next level? The Competency Index can help! See how 21st century skills, accountability, and community engagement can make a difference in your work. #WebJunctionWednesday http://bddy.me/2xfzafR
Career advice | Resilience | Emotional Intelligence
by Dr. Marla Gottschalk January 24, 2017
I’ve often wondered why building resilience isn’t a key business imperative. My opinion is such, primarily because being human, is often at odds with work life. Work can routinely bring stress, negativity, setbacks and outright failures — and most of us are challenged to combat the effects.
We often frame conversations about resilience with stories of extreme hardship or extenuating circumstances. However, resilience could serve as an ever-present, daily mentor, helping us to rebound from the collected pressures of work life. Most of us forge on — taking little note of the increasing toll — and building resilience isn’t considered.
This can be a serious mistake.
Through all of the trials and tribulation, we rarely notice that our psychological resources are waning.We muddle on. We develop idiosyncratic mechanisms to bolster our mood and maintain motivation. However, the damage accumulates. We become less able to bounce back. Months later, we may realize that we still lament the project that has been cut, laid off co-workers or failing to land an important client. Read more…
Mentoring | Coaching | Leadership | Management | Academic Libraries
by Kerry Parry 31 August 2017
Kathryn Parry interviews Sue Hodges, former Director of Libraries and Archives, Bangor University. Sue talks about her career path, and her belief that with confidence and support you can go further than you might think, and achieve the career that you really want.
AS I start my new job as CILIP Wales Development Manager, I am making many new connections. I am struck by how many of these connections are with people who are at the opposite end of the career ladder to me. I see many experienced professionals retiring, but I cannot see much evidence of succession planning. How do we learn and carry forward the services these professionals have created? I want to hear how other professionals started out, what shaped their career and any advice they can give.
To gain more understanding of these issues, I recently interviewed Sue Hodges, who has just retired from her role as Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University. We talked about how her career developed, and how she aims to share what she has learnt over the years by mentoring and supporting people in their career plans.
Kathryn: How did you get into librarianship?
Emotional Intelligence | Mental Health | Career Advice
Amy Morin, contributor Forbes August 12, 2017
Anxiety is probably the most common reason people enter my therapy office. From specific phobias to generalized anxiety disorders, people are often desperate to do whatever it takes to get rid of their discomfort.
While you may not have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, there’s no doubt you experience anxiety sometimes. Whether the thought of giving a speech makes your heart race or your fear of asking for a raise leaves your palms sweaty, anxious feelings are normal.
In an effort to spare yourself from anxiety, you might decline to take a risk or decide to stay inside your comfort zone. After all, anxiety is uncomfortable and an easy way to prevent it is to avoid anything anxiety-provoking.
But new research shows anxiety isn’t always harmful. In fact, it could improve your performance if you know how to respond to it. Read more…
Librarians | Archives | Career advice
Stefanie Maclin-Hurd | June 15, 2017
There’s a reason why, when you meet a librarian for the first time, she sometimes looks hesitant to tell you what she does for a living—we’re far too used to sharing our profession and hearing that libraries are dead because of Google. (They’re always shocked to hear that libraries are actually far more alive because of Google.) And even regular library patrons are sometimes shocked by the amount of research and reference that are part of a library’s daily work. In this essay, Stefanie Maclin-Hurd uses her wide range of library jobs to demonstrate that for all its changes, librarianship in the 21st century is still very much about research.
I learned research before I learned to catalog, if one considers digging through websites as a high school student to be research. When considering the whys of being a librarian, research was something I knew I wanted to do. Not just because I loved to learn, but because I needed to know the reasons why behind each thing I learned. If I read a book, I needed to know what was true and what was enhanced, and research was the way to do it. In learning how to be a librarian, this need to know, this thirst for knowledge, was welcome. I studied archives in library school, and loved that I was able to search for the meanings and history behind the objects I was studying. Research is something which has followed me into every library and every archives job I’ve held. Research has made me a better librarian. Read article