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I didn’t even know that job existed!

young woman smiling hitting her head - aha momentOne of the downsides of giving LIS students and professionals career advice is that you’ve pretty much got to follow your own advice if you want to have any credibility at all (translation from my students: “do as I say, not as I do” isn’t going to fly!).

So with that in mind, I’m following one of my key career mantras, which is to never stop learning new stuff. I decided to teach myself how to create e-books so I could share more of the webinar information I provide for students at LIS grad schools. (more…)

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 generalist vs. specialist – which is best for you?

One of the questions most frequently asked by students is whether to specialize in a specific area (say cataloging or government documents) or graduate as a generalist, someone who has a broad range of skills but is not an expert in any. Ask five seasoned practitioners for their advice here, and you’re likely to get five well-reasoned, passionate, and completely different answers.

The reason is, there are benefits and disadvantages to both approaches. (more…)

Informational interview? Don’t miss these 5 benefits

Q and A Block LettersInformational interviews can be a terrific way to explore career paths, companies of potential interest, and specific types of work. But they’re also a great opportunity to build your network, professional reputation, and insider insights about specific employers while – if you approach them thoughtfully and with advance preparation.

How to Make the Most of Your Interview
You know that you never, ever use an informational interview as a sideways approach to landing a job interview – basically, that’s the fastest way to get bounced out the door. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t reap other cool benefits from your informational interviews. (more…)

Twelve questions to ask in an informational interview

Raised HandsWant to find out more about a company, industry, or career path? (This is definitely something you want to do as often as possible while you’re going through your degree program or growing your LIS career.)

It’s tough to beat the “insider information” and insights you can get from a good informational interview. But because you’re asking someone to give up some of their time for you, it’s important to be focused and thoughtful during the time they spend with you. That means you want to think about your questions well in advance so you can not only come up with thoughtful questions but also think about good follow-ups to your interviewee’s answers. (more…)

LIS career transitions: getting from here to there

Career Transitions for LibrariansHow often have you heard the often-repeated statement that if you’re an “ABC librarian,” you’ll never be able to transition into being an “XYW librarian?” As in, if you’re a public librarian, you’ll never be able to get a job in academia, or special libraries. If you’re in a corporate library, you’d never be considered for school or public.

Among the grad students I work with, this silo effect is such an accepted fact of life that it causes them to overweight the importance of every early-career decision they make.

But is it true?

Not according to the more than three dozen LIS professionals who’ve contributed their career-transition success stories to Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library. (more…)