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Five tools for designing your 2017 career

Network Lines Connecting to ServersA well-designed life is a life that is generative – it is constantly creative, productive, changing, evolving, and there is always the possibility of surprise.
– Designing Your Life

Yep, we’re putting 2016 in the rear-view mirror and moving into a 2017 that will be (hope springs eternal) more productive, rewarding, and opportunity-rich for everyone. How can you nudge the odds in your favor? By embracing career-focused design thinking. (more…)

LinkedIn recommendations: help them help you

One of the most powerful types of “social proof” (testaments to your professional strengths) hiring managers can see is a great recommendation on your LinkedIn profile.

And people who like you well enough to be willing to write a recommendation for you do sincerely want to help you out!

But actually getting that recommendation written for you? That’s where things tend to fall apart…. (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…)

Resources for the presentation design-challenged

little-boy-painting-on-easelSome of us have the presentation design sense of a turnip. (Raised hand here.)

Which is why I was ecstatic when I decided to explore SlideShare after it had officially become another LinkedIn property, and found that it offered a decent collection of tips, tricks, and tools.

True, Amazon shows an impressive 239 title results when searched for “SlideShare for Dummies,” but none of those are actually a book called Slideshare for Dummies (always my starting point….). So as an alternative, I’ve worked my way through SlideShare’s “Get Started” coaching materials and found them to actually be pretty helpful for those of us in the design-challenged category. It’s really, really basic information, but a starting point.

What’s Worth Checking Out (more…)

Find – and tell – your story

How to pull the narrative threads from your chaotic eclectic career

Recently I worked with an MLIS student whose resume prior to grad school was primarily retail, clerical, and a number of nanny jobs. She was stymied about how to weave her job experience – which ostensibly had nothing to do with LIS work – into a strong enough narrative to convince employers to take a chance on her.

Many of us have been there, done that. (more…)

You are a business of one

We are all self-employed.

In effect, you are renting your skills out to your current employer.

This is an especially tough idea for those of us in the LIS profession to come to grips with, because we’re trained to think of ourselves as being part of a helping community. And that’s true, we are. But it’s also true that every aspect of the profession – both traditional and nontraditional – has been affected by financial realities that lead to budget constraints if not cuts and layoffs. What does that mean for your career? (more…)

Career takeaways from LJ’s 2016 Placements and Salaries report

jobs-in-block-lettersThe recently published Library Journal annual “Placements and Salaries” report, written by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Suzie Allard, once again provides fascinating insights into how new graduates are faring in the LIS job market.  (Shout-out to Library Journal for continuing to annually undertake and publicly share this information with the profession.)

The good news: to quote Dr. Allard, graduates are looking at “a healthy job market characterized by rising salary levels and work that calls for both traditional and nontraditional skills and roles.”

Key take-aways: (more…)

No job-hunting traction? Consider LIS temp, staffing, recruiting, and outsourcing agencies

In a tough job market, finding alternative ways to get your foot in the door of prospective employers can give you a serious competitive edge. One of the best of those alternative strategies? Signing up with one of the temp, staffing, recruiting, or outsourcing agencies that specialize in information work. (For more on the benefits of temporary gigs, see 6 Ways Temping Can Help Build Your LIS Career.)

What’s the difference among these types of firms?

Although there’s often overlap among these four terms, you can make some general assumptions when you hear these terms. (more…)

6 Ways Temping Can Help Build Your LIS Career

When you’re at a career transition point – say, just starting out in your career, struggling to find a job, or needing to “get a foot in the door” after a move to a new community – working a temporary job, or “temping,” can be your best friend.

It can also be a great solution for those who simply prefer the variety of temporary or project work to the predictability of a permanent position.

Temping Can Help Build Your LIS Career Options
In terms of career benefits, temporary LIS work provides you with opportunities to: (more…)