Monday, May 04, 2009

New Info Career Trends Issue On Being Pro-Active In A Down Economy

The May issue of Info Career Trends is available:
"Today’s theme, 'Being Proactive,' reflects that reality that in a down economy it’s more important than ever that we take steps to move ourselves and our careers forward — because nobody else is going to do it for us. This issue’s contributors talk about a number of ways they have been proactive in their careers, and how you can do the same."
Among the articles are:
  • The Imposter Syndrome: Or How I Learned to Get Over My Panic Attack, Love My Promotion, and Make My To-Do List:"Basically, imposter syndrome is the sense that you’ve been promoted beyond your abilities, that you’re in over your head, that through some combination of luck and others’ misperceptions, you’ve landed in a position for which your skills are wildly inadequate. It’s the career version of performance anxiety, aggravated by a dread that you might be 'found out' at any moment ... And that’s exactly what hit me when my boss gave me what he thought was terrific news about my promotion. His rationale was that he’d worked with me for 18 months, knew my strengths and weaknesses, and thought this was something I’d be good at. My reaction was that he’d completely overestimated my strengths, underestimated my weaknesses, and we were all about to find out in the most awful way possible… In essence, I was going to be 'found out.' Classic imposter syndrome."
  • Go the extra mile — it’s never crowded: "Getting your degree is a rewarding process, and you’ll get great satisfaction from receiving your diploma for a job well done. However, during these difficult economic times, many potential LIS students are asking themselves 'is it worth my time and money, when my family is already struggling?' While continuing education is an individual choice, people tend to pursue this noble profession for similar reasons. I have compiled a list of my classmates’ most frequently cited reasons for pursuing a professional degree in library science."
  • Promoting your professional development: The value of being proactive: "When I began my current position at the University of San Francisco in 2003, I knew that five years down the road I would need to apply for a promotion. This involved showing my professional development and service by creating a promotion binder that traced my career development — and seemed a daunting task to my new librarian’s eyes, because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find enough professional opportunities with which to fill my binder. I’ve found, though, that the promotion process is a model for the art of being proactive about career development, both in thought and in deed. Being proactive requires an active, open, seeking attitude, as well as reliable, high-quality action. This combination is very powerful, and can help you get beyond the constraints of time, funding, geography, or your current job description — giving you a career path of which to be proud."
  • Recognizing opportunities to advance your career: "Navigating a career path is an inexact science. All of us face constraints as we seek to develop our professional skills, enhance our resumes, and climb the career ladder to positions of increasing responsibility. While I have been fortunate in the opportunities I’ve had over the course of my 20 year career in librarianship, I’ve also developed a few strategies that I believe have maximized my ability to grow professional options for myself – even in the face of typical obstacles such as geographical limitations, competing spousal careers, and parenthood."
  • Developing your leadership potential: "Library employees are more often finding themselves in a position where they must cultivate leadership skills, regardless of their place on the organizational chart. While employers may or may not furnish leadership training opportunities, it is wise for librarians to actively seek out opportunities for leadership development. The good news is that library associations are rising to the occasion and offering programs, academies, institutes, and workshops focusing on the development of library leadership skills. You can often also find opportunities to serve on committees (such as faculty governance in an academic setting), play an active role in the community (such as in a public library setting), and participate in other roles outside of the library (such in a special library setting)."
  • Ask forgiveness later: One new librarian’s guide to trying new things: "One of the biggest lessons I learned in my first year is that a large public university library is a big, bureaucratic place. This is not a criticism; it’s just the honest truth. There are countless state rules to obey, diverse constituencies to serve, and an amazingly large number of librarians and staff to manage. With so much going on at any given time, there’s no way that librarians can just wait for opportunities and projects to fall into their laps. The best way to spearhead new projects and gain leadership opportunities is simply to do something. One of my colleagues adopted the phrase 'ask for forgiveness rather than permission' as her own personal mantra, and I quickly learned that this message was right on target. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to pilot a new idea on your own, or with help from a few enthusiastic, equally subversive colleagues."
Rachel Singer Gordon, the editor of Info Career Trends, announced in an editor's note that the publication is going on an indefinite hiatus after this issue.

Readers can subscribe to the regular columns such as Rethinking Information Careers and Career Q&A. The columns will continue independently.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:49 pm

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