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7 ideas for flexible LIS careers

Workforce experts are saying that by 2020 four of every ten workers will be a member of the “contingent workforce” – that is, freelancers, contractors, or temporary employees. How directly this trend impacts the LIS profession will probably in large degree depend on where you work and the type of work you do.

But in the meantime, what if you’d actually like to accelerate this trend and perhaps have an LIS career with a bit more flexibility right now? (more…)

LIS freelancing – where to start (and how)

When I recently asked a young MLIS student about her career goals, she very matter-of-factly laid out a future of LIS work comprising multiple employer/clients based on her various skill sets.

Kate possesses a rich suite of in-demand skills, ones that might previously have led to being quickly hired by a lucky organization. But as a realistic monitor of today’s LIS employment environment, she’s hoping for the best (she’ll find a great job) but planning for the worst. If no job materializes, she’ll be able to create multiple revenue streams to support herself based on her LIS skills.

In fact, Kate is actively seeking out work projects and courses to broaden and deepen the skills she may be able to offer to a diverse range of employers – or clients. She’s positioning herself to be able to contribute value over a lifetime of information work. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to consider adding freelance work or projects to your worklife and portfolio. (more…)

Side gigs for fun, profit, and career resiliency

Economy of YouWhether side gig, side hustle, freelancing, or moonlighting, doing work on your own time in addition to your regular job is a terrific way to build some resiliency into your career – and finances. The place to start? Kimberly Palmer’s The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life (AMACOM, 2014).

According to Palmer, solid, sustainable side-gig ideas usually have the following characteristics: (more…)

Making a Living as an Independent Info Pro

“So, if I were to become an independent, what kind of work would I do?” Given the shaky state of the economy (and LIS jobs), more and more information pros are asking this question.

Or maybe you’re thinking about adding a second revenue stream in addition to your day job. Or wanting to develop a new career path into which you’ll eventually transition. If you’ve got information skills (or are willing to learn them), there are all sorts of ways to turn that knowledge into income.

What kinds of things can you do as an independent information pro? Three of the most popular types of information work are research and analysis, writing and content development, and information products.

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What is an Infonista?

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.

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