I wrote this post for Rethinking Information Careers a couple of years ago, but just found myself in a conversation on this topic with several former students about to graduate. So I thought it might be useful to revisit this issue for all of those about to complete their degrees and start the job search…I hope it’s helpful!
Recently I had an opportunity to work with a young woman who had just graduated from an MLIS program. She was unsure of how to proceed with her job search given the precarious job market for librarians (and everybody else).
This young woman had never worked in a library before, and, like many of us when we complete our degrees, wanted to get a job in the same town where her university was located. But the reality is that with little or no library experience and facing the stiff competition that comes in an area flooded with fellow MLIS graduates, this young woman’s job prospects would be dim at best.
In fact, probably her best opportunities lie in a direction often avoided if not dismissed by recent grads: working for a library in Smalltown, USA.
Daniel Isaacs has one of my fantasy jobs – doing business research in an academic setting as part of a major, highly-respected university. Development research, also known as donor research or prospect research, involves doing background research into individuals and organizations that might be likely to donate funds to the employing organization.
This involves questions about shared interests and values, other philanthropic commitments, corporate giving programs, etc. The goal is to find opportunities to match individual interests and commitments with programs needing funding, either financial or in-kind (for example, technology contributions).
Recently, Daniel agreed to answer questions about his job so others can learn more about what this career path entails, and whether it might be of interest to them.
Subtitled “Define and Create Your Success,” this recent and welcome addition to the collection of LIS career books is a delightfully personal compendium of advice from two of the profession’s most respected and experienced practitioners: Ulla de Stricker and Jill Hurst-Wahl. Both have worked in a wide variety of information roles throughout their careers, and bring that breadth of experience (and lessons learned) to the handbook.
Disclaimer here: my dear friend and colleague Marcy Phelps has written a book that I’m going to shamelessly recommend for everyone who either does – or would like to do – business research. The book is Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information (CyberAge Books), and it’s for all of us who end up needing to find information at the local level.