Years ago, when I was working as an executive information advisor to a CEO and was also teaching adjunct in the University of Denver MLIS program, my friend (and colleague) suggested that I wasn’t really a librarian, or a researcher, or an information manager, although I performed all those roles.
Infonista: Now My Mom Gets What I Do
Instead, she said, I was an infonista, someone who made her living using, creating, disseminating, or otherwise creating value with, information. I think she nailed it (certainly it offered a way to summarize my job skills for my mother), and I also have found that there are a lot of us who are doing exactly that – making a living with information.
My MLIS skill set provided a platform from which I have moved fairly regularly and easily among the areas of publishing, business research, academia, online content creation, small-business information management, nonprofit information strategy, writing, editing – and helping my nieces and nephews with their college papers.
Building a Career as an Information Professional
In this blog, I hope to explore both the various paths information professionals can take to develop their best, most resilient and rewarding careers, and the resources that will help them get there. Where are the opportunities? What are the attitudes that will connect you to them on an ongoing basis? (Or keep you from them just as predictably.)
I believe without a doubt that having information skills provides you with an unlimited opportunity to create the career of your dreams, understanding that those dreams will be a reflection of your life circumstances at any given moment.
As I noted in a book I wrote, Rethinking Information Work: A Career Guide for Librarians and Other Information Professionals (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), our challenge is to think beyond the boundaries of “librarian,” and realize that while being a librarian is a terrific role, it is one of many career choices you may wish to pursue at different points in your professional life.
Yep, We’ve Got the Coolest Career
Questions? Answers? Ideas? I hope we can get them all in play here. I unabashedly think that being an information specialist – an infonista – is one of the coolest careers anybody can have. And if we pay attention, we’ll have not only one of the coolest careers, but also one of the most resilient – no small feat in today’s chaotic times.