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Advance LIS careers via LinkedIn Groups – the getting-started basics

Officially (i.e., per the company), the purpose of LinkedIn Groups is to “…provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.”

I’d agree with that description – LinkedIn Groups are a terrific resource for all of those activities. But it helps if you have a bit more background and strategic guidance to really max out groups’ benefits. So with the goal of using LinkedIn Groups to do cool LIS career stuff, here are some ideas to help you get started. (more…)

Grow your LIS career in fifteen minutes a week

You know just how to get your career moving. Problem is, between work and the usual gazillion other commitments most of us have, it can be a bit challenging to put your plans in play.

The solution? Break your plans down into smaller – really smaller – chunks. Consistent incremental progress, the type you can make in 15 minutes or less, is still steady progress, and will get you to your career goals faster than no progress at all.

How to get started

Think about your plans – what you want to accomplish and why (the why keeps you motivated). Break those plans down into their smallest actions, i.e., pieces that can be completed within 15 minutes or less. Then make a checklist of your mini-action items for your highest-priority career moves.

This pre-planning ensures that rather than waste that precious 15 minutes a week trying to figure out what the best use of your time career-investment would be, you can simply move right into action. (more…)

Lifestyle careers: rethinking LIS retirement

Recently I’ve had a number of conversations with colleagues thinking about their post-retirement options. Most of them don’t actually want to retire, but want to transition to a career option that better fits their encore lifestyle goals.

The good news? One of the terrific things about LIS skills and experience is that they so easily lend themselves to these types of work arrangements. (more…)

Drop some balls

Recently, at the end of a Dominican SOIS virtual workshop for the students/alumni Career Day, a student asked a great question. In fact, it’s one that most of us who’ve been through grad school have grappled with: how do you juggle grad school, parenting, and a job? Or to take it a bit further, how do you do it without dropping any balls? Without disappointing any family members? Without blowing an assignment? Basically, without going to pieces?

My answer: let balls drop when you need to. (more…)

Losing steam already? 7 approaches to achieve your 2018 goals

So how’s the resolution stuff coming?

According to the experts, something like 40%-45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, with generally less-than-stellar success rates. Been there, done that.

But with each new year, I’ve come a bit closer to a goal-achieving method that works for me. The key was realizing that willpower was simply a non-starter (or non-achiever) for me; instead, I found that creating an environment, processes, and habits that supported my goals was what kept me on track. (more…)

Time to leave that awful job? Make sure you do this first!

Sometimes even the most ideal job goes south.

The boss you loved working for gets promoted to a great new position, but her replacement is the spawn of the devil.

Your company, which for decades had been known for valuing its employees, is bought by an equity fund whose only value is stakeholder profits.

The job you love is “re-engineered” into a new set of responsibilities, several (if not all) of which make you crazy…. (more…)

Which font should you use for your resume?

Recently a friend of mine who specializes in resume coaching explained to me that anyone still using the Times New Roman font on their resumes was absolutely dooming their application the second it left their printer. I, who had assumed TNR was a pretty reputable choice as far as fonts go, was surprised to hear this (and in fact wondered if she was just being her usual joyously opinionated self).

But it turns out that recruiters, designers, and resume experts do have some pretty strong preferences when it comes to resume fonts, both best and worst. Notes a Monster.com interview, “You want to stick with fonts that are legible, neutral and easy to read,” says Amanda Augustine, career expert at TopResume. “Recruiters are scanning resumes for 6 seconds, and if they can’t get past an unprofessional font, your resume may get overlooked.”

Based on checking several different “best fonts for resumes” list, the following consensus emerged: (more…)

12 LinkedIn headlines for LIS students

In a recent coaching session with several MLIS students, we worked on their LinkedIn profiles with the goal of positioning each of the students as someone intent on joining the ranks of LIS practitioners. In other words, a serious, engaged, almost-professional-level contributor.

Realistically, and quoting well-known LIS leader Jan Chindlund, you become a professional the day you take you very first class. Sometimes, however, it can be so easy to get wrapped up in assignments, group projects, exams, and student activities that you miss the reason you’re in grad school, which is to launch a rewarding LIS career.

Your LinkedIn profile will help you start launching that career while you’re still in grad school, so it’s a free, highly valuable tool you want to take advantage of. The challenge: as a student, how do you create a headline (with only 120 characters, including spaces) that starts letting people how terrific you are right now and how even more terrific you’re going to be at graduation? (more…)

Becoming a free-agent learner: 7 learning hacks to level up your LIS skills

We live in the age of the free-agent learner – which is really good news for LIS professionals. Because as a free-agent learner, regardless of your circumstances, you’ve got multiple ways to expand your skill set.

Which options work best for you?
You get to determine which options are best for you at any given time. To do that, it helps to ask yourself some key questions.

For example, do you prefer a formal learning experience (that is, interacting with an instructor in a face-to-face or online classroom, either with fellow students or independently)? Or perhaps an informal experience, such as working with a mentor or learning community, reading a book, taking an online tutorial? (more…)

How to keep a career time-out from becoming a career drop-out

Perhaps you’ve decided to stay home to spend more time with your young children for several years.

Or your elderly parents are beginning to need more attention from you and it’s compromising your ability to work full-time.

Or you’ve had a major health setback, and recovery is likely to sideline you for a substantial period of time.

A career timeout, however, doesn’t have to mean career derailment. By staying professionally engaged and connected, you’ll be able to keep doors open for you when you’re ready to return.  (more…)