14 March 2009

ACRL2009: Finding your career path

Map Your Path to the Mountaintop: Planning Where You Want to Be in your Career.
Steve Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services at Temple University
John Shank, Instruction Design Librarians, Penn State. Director of their Teaching and Learning Center.
Brian Matthews: User Experience Librarian, Georgia Tech.
Lauren Pressley, Instructional Design Librarian, Wake Forest. Lauren was in my focus group this morning. More on that in a later post.

This was the BEST SESSION at the conference. AWESOME!

Using media to incite interest. Hip music, Andy says. Great vibe in the room. People excited, chatting. It’s a nice change.

Using interviews—David Lee King. Try stuff. Technology.

Using a Q & A approach, both to panelists and of the audience. So refreshing!

Encouraging us to think about what WE, I want. Not thinking in the box but thinking about what my path is. A multigenerational panel and multigenerational audience.

Each panelist has a “Catch Phrase” that defines their thoughts about their career path. Share your own catch phrase. Great assignment for the blog.

Steve Bell’s post in ACRLog: Are you at where you want to be in your career?
Be strategic. Know where you’re going.

Karen Coombs—publishing and presenting leads to co-authoring a book.

Q1: Describe the strategy that defines your career path up to this point.
• Comparing ourselves with others. There will be times when you do well and times when you don’t. It’s a long road. Persist!
• Pairing my personal strengths with my profession. Capitalize on what I do best. Utilizing my skills and my knowledge and matching research to my day-to-day activities.
• Aspirational: the goal to be transformative in what you are doing. People that effected their professions. How can we make things better? How do faculty and students perceive the library rather than are they using it the way we want them to? “Take risks. Ask crazy questions. Push services in a different way.”
• Pick up as many skills as possible. Do things that are interesting so that I can take on more interesting projects. Making a difference within the profession at large.
• Experiment, Try New Things, Be Daring. What kinds of sacrifices are you willing to make? Not just 9-5.
• Things can get in the way: try again.
• Share your story and where you want to go with people. They can’t help you if they don’t know what you want.
• The faculty path in LIS education. They need very bright, motivated, people.
• Fake it til you make it: you will figure it out.
• Embrace opportunity. Don’t miss seeing the forest through the trees.
• Find the gap and then fill it. Ask for help.
• Play your career like you would play good poker.
• Know what you want and what you don’t want.
Such a positive feeling in this session! People sharing. Engage the audience.

Write about what is interesting to. Don’t think about whether it is interesting to others. Think about what interests you!

Q2: What role has publishing and presenting played in your career strategy?
• Blogging as a role in the career. Paying attention to the field and synthesizing so you have an opinion. Leads to more acceptable forms of publication.
• Sharing your knowledge, expertise, and experience with your colleagues. Technology increases that opportunity. Will blogging start to infiltrate the traditional tenure process?
• Develop your voice through blogging. Write for the widest audience possible. What is the best venue for your article? What is the outcome you want? What do you want to achieve and accomplish?
• Publish or present even if you don’t have to.
• My contribution to the discussion: don’t undervalue the role of presenting. Put yourself out there and see what comes. You never know what will come to you.
• You don’t have to publish and present on traditional library topics. Offer what you know and love. Don’t limit yourself.
• Give presentations regularly.

Q3: What’s your perspective on innovative and entrepreneurship in developing your career strategy?
• If something makes your mind “itch”, be aware of that. If something makes you uncomfortable, think about that. Act on that. Don’t ignore it.
• Learn as much technology as possible.
• Stepping away from what you know (the echo within the library community). Find conferences and opportunities that are different than what you know.
• Take advantage of collaborative relationships. Creativity across different disciplines and professions. Grow ideas that come from different spaces.
• Risk: trying new things. Stakes are low for taking risks but the payoff is great for users.
• Talk to people. Ask people what they are interested in? “Bromantic”--Andy likes this term.
• Go somewhere where you can do everything to try lots of things.
• Learn things you don’t know and teach someone what you learned.
• Be entrepreneurial within your institution.

Q4: What’s the next step in your career?
• Do what you love and it won’t feel like a job.
• Help my institution be the best that it can be. Build on new skills and new opportunities.
• How can we still be edgy and progressive while being an administrator?
• Don’t miss the vistas on the way to the mountaintop.
• Enjoy working with other people, meet people. Partner with others. Share with people what you want to do with your career.


stevenb said...

great job capturing the mapping your path program. what i really like is that you got many of the comments the audience shared - not just the speakers. thanks for coming to the session and for your kind words about it.

laurenpressley said...

Hi Sarah, thank you for your kind words about the panel! It was great meeting you!