Tag Archives: jobhunting

Information triage

The loooong weekend is nearly over and I’m starting to think about going back to work tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be the start of week 2 in my new job so I  know there’ll be a lot to think about for the rest of the week as well!

As part of preparation-for-work I’ve been sorting through my RSS feeds this evening, and came across Word Spy’s information triage.  It describes both what we do day by day at work as information professionals (constantly evaluate the information at hand and prioritise for action) and conveniently describes what I’ll be doing with all the new information about my job that I’ll be trying to absorb this week – and add to what I learned last week….

I have a picture forming in my head of what my new role as Outreach Librarian involves, but not enough to blog about it just yet….

Thanks to all my personal learning network or PLN (my non-library family & friends have been publicly asking for fewer TLA’s in my posts….) for the encouragement so far in my #newjob journey!

Onwards and upwards?

Just another day at the office - view from the library door

So, barely a week after writing the last blog post, on taking charge of my career, I suddenly seem to actually have a career to take charge of! After several months of writing job applications and attending hundreds of job interviews (actually I think it was only 3, but it did seem like a lot) I have a new job.

I’ve taken a few days to reflect on my reaction to the job offer (which I accepted on the spot). Yes I’m happy and yes I’m a bit scared of the change but do you know what the first thing was that came into my mind? Whether to change the name of my blog. Really? Yes, really.

I’m moving from a one person library into a huge bureaucracy (a university) with thousands of staff and tens of thousands of students.  My whole focus up until now has been surviving as an OPL, developing a virtual PLN because I don’t have one in the workplace, finding other professionals ‘out there’ who inspire me, advise me or just sympathise with me and share their experiences.  Going to this new job is going to be like starting again.  In my first post on this blog, I invited readers to share the journey with me. That hasn’t changed, it’s just that I’m suddenly heading in a totally different direction.

Still, I think I’ll leave the blog name for now.

Transferable skills

Unshelved - 23 Feb 2011

As always, Unshelved made me laugh. However, it does raise the question for me of what exactly IS an information professional? Are we people who ‘look stuff up in books’? Do we actually have any real life, useful skill that is valued anywhere outside the library profession?

I suspect the answer is yes and no.  I think we do have real life skills, but whether they are valued outside the profession is another thing.  It’s the whole ‘librarian’ stereotype I think.  I have members of my own organisation introduce me to outsiders as the librarian ‘but she does other stuff too, like information literacy and search skills training’.  I know, and everybody else inside the profession knows that the ‘other stuff’ is actually librarianship, how come nobody else seems to know that?

This is an old, hoary chestnut – I know this. Everyone in library land has had similar experiences. However, in my quest for a new job I am coming up against this transferable skill thing more and more.  I have skills from outside library land that are, in fact, highly transferable into this environment. Similarly, my library and information skills should be transferable to another environment. The trick is having a prospective employer who can see that.  This has come up for me in a big way in the past week or so.  Out of the blue I was offered a job with a start up professional development company – but it was on the basis of my previous administration experience (clearly very transferable skills but I don’t want to work in admin – that’s why I studied for a career change). I turned the job down after much deliberation as I want to have a chance to show this profession my skills.

So I just keep putting in job applications and waiting for the opportunity.

A new year – a new mojo?

We visited Bellingen to escape the rain on our holiday - but it rained there too...

Towards the end of 2010 I lost my librarian mojo – I could really sympathise with this post from A work in progress about being dazed & confused.  I’m in a not-so-different situation to Fiona, OK, I have a job in libraryland but it’s a first job and I need to start thinking about the next step in my career sometime in 2011.  That’s both exciting and daunting and the daunting part overtook me by the end of the year.

I am not a 24/7 librarian so my recent 3 weeks off work have really been 3 weeks away from the whole library thing – very little interaction on twitter from me and I haven’t read a single blog post that could be remotely called professional (OK, I’ve read some by librarians but they weren’t really library related). Partly this is because I went camping for a week – to a location with flaky 3G connection at best but mostly it’s because I really needed to take a break from all the PD and the information bombardment my day usually contains.  I barely even picked up a newspaper during this 3 weeks.

As a result, I feel quite refreshed, in spite of wondering if I’ve missed out on anything really fantastic.  I probably have, but I’ve learned that life goes on regardless!  As I’ve blogged about before, I value my PLN and in particular my twitter network but it’s still pretty much a work thing for me, rather than a life thing.  I have some strict boundaries around the work/life balance thing – having seen first hand what happens when you don’t – so it suits me to keep things as they are for the moment.

I’ve come back to work to the realisation that I have 2 PD events coming up for me in the next 3 weeks – as well as the prospect of a #tweetup around the ALIA Information Online conference that is being held in Sydney in early February.  This has cheered me up no end (because let’s face it, who actually enjoys coming back to work after 3 weeks leave?).

When social media goes wrong?

Photo is to calm me down. It's the Lady Diana Spencer Memorial Fountain, Kensington Gardens

Today I had an awkward and potentially very difficult situation arise at work that I’m at a loss to explain – although I suspect social media might be at the root of the problem.

The HR manager at MPOW had an email from an individual today saying that this individual understood through professional networks that I had accepted a position with another organisation and that my job was therefore about to be advertised.  The person asked to be advised when MPOW was likely to be advertising as they were very interested in my position.

Now, I have seen this email and I have this person’s name as a result of that but I draw a blank with who it actually is.  It isn’t anyone I know and a google search of the name brings up nothing even vaguely library related.

It’s fairly common knowledge among my small section of the twitter-verse that I have been for a job interview but specific details of where and when have been limited to a few DM’s with a few select (and trusted) people.  Similarly, it’s not a secret where I work, but I don’t go out of my way to advertise the name of MPOW and this email was addressed to the HR Manager, not our info@ account.  Whoever this person is has taken the time to not only find out/work out where I work but has looked up our HR Manager’s email address on our company website.

I haven’t been offered a job anywhere else and in fact the organisation I went for the interview with is hoping to have cleared their internal bureaucracy in time to have something to offer the successful applicant at the end of this week.  I would be a brave newgradlib indeed if I had already resigned on the strength of an interview I admittedly felt pretty comfortable with.

As I said, I’m at a complete loss to explain this.  It’s weird and to be honest, slightly creepy. The most likely explanation is someone telling someone telling someone and the message getting lost in the middle. This is my first experience of social media going wrong and I’m not liking it.

Either that or one of my friends has a warped sense of humour……

Career mojo

think again by notsogoodphotography via flickr CC

Over the weekend I read a post from Fiona at A work in progress that has got me thinking about my career mojo.

The blogosphere has been full of posts about what it means to be a librarian, what LIS students need to know, (here and here) and whether our university courses prepare librarians adequately or appropriately. I’m sure this flurry of writing coincides with the new academic year in the US and the end of the academic year here in Australia.  Add into the mix some doom and gloom about the future of the library as we know it  (job cuts and library closures in the UK being the focus of Roy Tennant’s Digital Libraries post this week) and it’s no wonder that graduates like Fiona and myself feel a bit dazed and confused.

Fiona writes:

Now I’m in a horrible limbo land. I’ve finished my course. I am officially a graduand. But I’m yet to find work in a library and am feeling my tenuous grip on the pulse of librarianship slipping away by the day. It’s not that I’m not still reading blogs and articles and tweets from fabulous librarians and educators. It’s not that I’ve lost any of my passion for sharing information and helping to connect people to the information that they need. It’s just that without papers to write or a library job to go to it’s all feeling very abstract.

For a variety of reasons I didn’t work in the library industry while I was studying for my library qualifications, so I completely understand the disconnect Fiona is feeling.  Now, a year after  finishing my course and with almost a year of full time work in the profession under my belt I’m feeling a bit the same again.

MPOW is full of wonderful, caring and genuine folk but as an OPL in a very small educational institution I’m starting to feel the restlessness kick in.  I will always be grateful to my current employer for the opportunity they gave me as a graduate to take this position and for the opportunities for professional development and advancement of my skills that they have allowed me to take while working here, but I’m eager to take my new found skills and apply them in the wider libraryland.

Like Fiona, I’m back in a bit of limbo-land.  It’s completely the wrong time of year here to be looking for a new job, not only am I competing with the fresh, new crop of graduates but the long holiday shuts a lot of things down now until the end of January.  In a way, I’ve also shut down.  I love reading about the fabulous things that others in my PLN are achieving in their workplaces but it’s mixed with wishing that I had the opportunity to do/implement/experience some of those things too, which just induces more restlessness.

I have leave over Christmas and into the New Year.  I can only hope that when I return from leave, some of my career mojo is back.