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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.

What kinds of actions might you take?

One way to think about this is via the concept of professional equity, which is what strong careers are built on. Professional equity comprises:

  • what you know (your domain knowledge or LIS skills)
  • who you know (your community of colleagues or network) and
  • who knows what about you (your professional reputation and its visibility)

So what areas of your professional equity do you need to invest time and effort into in order to help you take that next step in your career? Do you need new knowledge to address a skills gap? More connections in a certain industry or type of librarianship? Greater visibility for your expertise in a specialized type of information work?

Choose what you want to focus on, and then create your plan. Some examples of 15-minute actions:

  • Post an update to your LinkedIn account – share a resource, give someone a shout-out, post one of your favorite quotes
  • Make a coffee, lunch, or Skype date to catch up with a former colleague you like
  • Send a thank-you not to someone who’s helped you in some way
  • Find and check out a relevant professional association you might join
  • Scan several online publications or websites related to your career interests and set up monitoring feeds
  • Go to one job site and set up an alert for jobs or employers of interest
  • Check out two or three relevant job descriptions via LinkedIn Jobs to identify any skills gaps you’ll need to address
  • Read a professional article you’ve set aside and if it’s good, post a recommendation to your Twitter account
  • Reach out to a key individual for an informational interview
  • Draft an outline for a blog post or Medium article on a topic you’d like to be known for

Or, follow Infonista, including its monthly 15 minutes or less posts, for new ideas to keep your career moving forward!