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Identifying and Researching Alternative LIS Careers


What would you like to know about specific alternative LIS careers?

I have all sorts of questions, things I’d like to know more about and be able to share with my students and colleagues, so I’ve got a starting point, but I’m wondering if I may be missing some obvious questions – and if so, I’d really appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

The Stretch Goal: Mapping the Alternative LIS Careers Universe

What I’m planning to do is create an ongoing series of career profile posts that highlight specific alternative or emerging (or both) LIS career paths. My goal is to map out a universe of LIS opportunities that often remain hidden when not specifically labeled with the “librarian” title. We know some of them already, but my goal is to unearth as many invisible LIS career paths as possible – and identify as many interesting, engaging, and financially rewarding LIS alternatives and options as I can. (more…)

Forget Resolutions, Focus on Your Dreams

Little girl looking through binoculars

A new year.

A blank slate to write on, experiment with, screw up, laugh about, and grow with.

An open space within which to wander and dream.

Why waste it on resolutions that don’t reflect those dreams? Instead, why not shift your focus on where you’d like your LIS career to grow in 2016. What do your career dreams look like? This coming year is the perfect time to start moving toward their realization. (more…)

Modeling Your Message, or What to Do When You Keynote PPT Goes Nuts

Plan A failed, we need plan B

Recently I had the amazing honor of giving the wrap-up keynote at the 2015 SLA conference. The conference itself was a pretty intense several days, as SLA is currently undergoing some very difficult but important revisions to its structure, vision, core competencies, and identity. But conference discussions also provided a vibrant, real-life example of how we all need to be able to meet changing circumstances head-on, even if the choices we have aren’t the ones we’d hoped for.

My wrap-up keynote carried the same message. Titled “Improvising Your Career: How to Not Freak Out, Run for Cover, or Have to Move In With Your Folks (or Kids),” it focused on the necessity of having, to quote The Start-Up of You (Hoffman and Casnocha, 2012), a permanent beta mindset when it comes to your career. In other words, consider yourself always in start-up mode, and assume that your most important core competency is your ability to adapt. To improvise. To tap dance as fast as you can….


The imposter syndrome: or how I learned to get over my panic attack, love my promotion, and make my to-do list

What is Imposter Syndrome?
Basically, imposter syndrome (IS) is the sense that you’ve been promoted beyond your abilities, that you’re in over your head, that through some combination of luck and others’ misperceptions, you’ve landed in a position for which your skills are wildly inadequate.

It’s the career version of performance anxiety, aggravated by a dread that you might be “found out” at any moment. It may not be rational, it may fly in the face of years’ worth of accomplishments, but it’s estimated that some 70 percent of successful men and women experience this chronic and often crippling self-doubt.

And that’s exactly what hit me when my boss gave me what he thought was terrific news about my promotion. His rationale was that he’d worked with me for 18 months, knew my strengths and weaknesses, and thought this was something I’d be good at. My reaction was that he’d completely overestimated my strengths, underestimated my weaknesses, and we were all about to find out in the most awful way possible…In essence I was going to be “found out.” Classic imposter syndrome. (more…)