Want 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…)
How 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…)
Anytime you’re asking a favor of someone, it feels a bit awkward, and information interviews are no exception.
Generally, you’re asking someone who’s both successful in their career and really busy to give you their time and attention out of the goodness of their heart. (Okay, occasionally for a cup of coffee or a quickie lunch….) Yep, that usually triggers our automatic “do not impose on people” response, but it’s time to get over your hesitation. Why? Because informational interviews for which you’ve done your homework can be one of the most effective ways to advance both your career knowledge and your career (think network building and professional visibility) ever. (more…)
Whether you’re a student soon to graduate and getting ready to hit the job market, an employed professional seeking to make a job change, or a now-unemployed practitioner trying to identify or create new opportunities, LIS job hunting can be an adventure (feel free to substitute your preferred adjective here).
According to David E. Perry, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap into the Hidden Job Market Using Social Media and 999 Other Tactics Today (Jay Conrad Levinson, co-author, Wiley, 2011), “Every job search is a sales and marketing campaign.”
Although, generally speaking, sales and marketing don’t come naturally to LIS students and professionals, if you approach looking for the right job as a process to move you from point A to point B (okay, and include some sales and marketing), both the job search – and your spirits – may improve. (more…)
Where can your LIS skills add value to a consumer-goods company, a software development organization, a green-tech developer, a national online retailer, or any of the myriad other organizations that could really benefit from a smart information professional, whether they know it (yet) or not?
Actually, those skills can address multiple needs throughout each of these potential employers; the key is understanding how and where to “plug in.” (more…)
One of the questions with emerging LIS career opportunities is how to retool your traditional library skills to bridge into these cool new career paths.
If you’re interested in data librarianship, I’d suggest your first move be to read Amy Affelt’s excellent The Accidental Data Scientist (Information Today, 2015). Consider Affelt’s book to be “everything you wanted to know about data librarianship but never would have had a clue to ask.”
After you’ve read the book, however, you may be so intrigued that you decide it’s time to make a serious move in the direction of data librarianship. If so, you have several choices for mastering the requisite skill set. One way would be to try to find ways to learn on the job, if your current work situation lends itself to this option – is there someone who would be willing to mentor you or share their knowledge, and perhaps give you an opportunity to try out your developing skills on a volunteer or training basis? (more…)