I’m trying to figure out how to start off a blog post when I’ve been missing in action for months (good grief, was my last post really November 27th???). Yep, that would be about the time that I was going all-out to finish up my manuscript (LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career, Libraries Unlimited, to be released in late fall this year). Then it was the holidays, and then I basically just decided to read and think and reflect. (Is there a better way to spend winter?)
The longer you work, sooner or later it’s going to happen to you: the major mess-up. You did something that was the result of perhaps not quite paying attention, missing a major detail, skipping a step in a work process to beat a deadline, or figuring that it wouldn’t really make that much difference if you just relied on someone else’s information rather than verifying it for yourself. The result: a classic screw up, the kind that’s going to be embarrassing at best, send your boss through the roof at worst.
If you, like thousands of other “sort-of” LinkedIn members, aren’t quite sure how to use this career-building, job-opportunity producing tool, take heart. With minimal time and effort, you can start benefiting from LinkedIn’s amazing ability to help you build your professional brand and network.
Everybody has lapses in judgment now and then – usually in the company of friends, loud music, and a multitude of alcoholic beverages. But not until the advent of social media sites did those momentary lapses in judgment have the possibility of wreaking long-lasting damage on your job prospects and career. So now’s the time to make sure you’re avoiding any of these career-busting social media “bad ideas”:
Two of the most powerful strategies for building your professional presence on LinkedIn are linking to others on the site and having people recommend your work and/or your skills. But how you reach out to people for linking and recommendation requests can either help you establish a great professional relationship with them or give the impression of carelessness and laziness.
At a recent workshop given by Scott Brown and me for the UCLA LIS students, one of the topics of highest interest was how to use LinkedIn, and for good reason: two of the most powerful strategies for building your professional presence on LinkedIn are linking to others on the site and having people recommend your work and/or your skills. But how you reach out to people for linking and recommendation requests can either help you establish a great professional relationship with them or give the impression of carelessness and laziness.
This has been a great year for conversations about “equity” – political equity, financial equity (or not), social equity.
From a conceptual standpoint, equity refers to how much investment you’ve built for a given asset, which might be your political reputation and influence, the value of your home relative to your mortgage, or the amount of standing and influence you have in your community of choice.
From a career standpoint, professional equity is a combination of the job skills, expertise, and experience you’ve accumulated, the relationships you’ve developed, and the reputation you’ve built so far in your career.
Recently I’ve been part of a discussion taking part in the classroom, on the LIS Career Options LinkedIn group, and among LIS friends and colleagues about how to respond to people who bash others’ decisions to pursue an MLIS. Some of the variations:
• You need a master’s degree to work in a library?
• You’ll never get a job (or one that pays anything)
• It’s stupid to go to graduate school at your age
• What on earth are you going to do with that?
• Are there even go to be libraries anymore?
• Why would you need a degree in that, everything’s on the Internet!
Prospective students tend to evaluate MLIS programs based on brand or price or location. Another way to evaluate potential programs, however, is within the framework of how well they’ll do at helping you create job prospects. In that case, you may want to explore the programs from a slightly different angle, considering the following program characteristics:
Part of what you’re doing in grad school is positioning yourself for a versatile LIS career – and hopefully a great job – once you graduate. Having a solid portfolio or “evidence of accomplishments” you can point to, either via your resume or an online e-portfolio, will greatly increase your odds of landing a job quickly. Well, okay, more quickly….
The question is – between classes, internships, possible family commitments, and other obligations, who’s got the time?!