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10 signs your LIS job might be at risk from smart machines

If we peer into the future of LIS careers, are there indicators that might signal what types of LIS jobs are most at risk for being automated or taken over by smart machines? (See Will smart machines compete for LIS jobs for more background on this  issue.)

Although automation is likely to impact different areas of LIS work in terms of when, and by how much, these changes disrupt our assumptions, authors Thomas Davenport and Julia Kirby suggest 10 job characteristics likely to result in worker replacement (or displacement) through automation in their Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines (HarperCollins, 2016).

Job characteristics that lend themselves to LIS job automation
According to the authors, the 10 job characteristics most likely to suggest it’s time to start watching your back are: (more…)

Will smart machines compete for LIS jobs?

In my work with LIS students and practitioners throughout the country, we often focus on where the new jobs and career paths might be emerging – which is a smart, useful approach. But the corollary question, and especially important if you are considering building a specific LIS skill set, is where the disappearing jobs and career paths are likely to be.

Will automation affect LIS jobs? Without question. Perhaps a more realistic question to ask might be what aspects of LIS work are likely to be replaced by automation or robotic intelligence?

Because if recent studies are any guide, the question isn’t if automation will replace information work, but rather how soon, and by how much. (more…)

LinkedIn recommendations – letters of recommendation, only better

In the old days, people would arrive for interviews with printed copies of letters of recommendation. Resumes would state “references available upon request.”

Now, however, as a jobseeker you have a much better and more effective way to showcase your strengths. When someone submits a recommendation for your LinkedIn profile, that recommendation can be seen 24/7, without you having to “present” it to an interviewer. (This is especially important when the majority of hiring managers will check out your LinkedIn profile before making a decision to interview you.)

Are LinkedIn endorsements and recommendations the same?
Not even close. (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…)

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…)

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…)