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How to Be the Manager Everyone (Including You) Wants to Work For

Over the course of a highly eclectic career, I’ve had the ah, opportunity, to observe the management skills (or lack thereof) of many bosses. Since almost no one is trained in how to manage people effectively, I’ve generally been willing to cut them some slack based on the idea that I probably couldn’t do much better.

Despite that, I’ve ended up managing people and teams numerous times – and pretty much always felt like my primary goal (besides completing our project) was to not screw up my team members. “Winging it” was probably too generous a description of my best efforts….

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Signal vs. Noise: LinkedIn Endorsements

You know the drill: it’s important to have at least two (three’s better) LinkedIn recommendations for each one of your jobs, preferably from a boss, client, or higher-up colleague. These are basically written verifications of your outstanding abilities, and focus on the strengths you’d most like to be known for, by people who have seen your abilities in action. All good.

But recently LinkedIn introduced a feature that many of us are still scratching our heads about – what the heck are Endorsements, what value do they have, and, most importantly, is this something potential employers might be paying attention to?

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Being an Introvert in an Extrovert’s Career

Quit your job as a TV anchor and get a degree in library science. But if TV anchoring is
what you love, then create an extroverted persona to get yourself through the day.

-Susan Cain, Quiet

It took me a long time to realize I’m an introvert. I’ve never been particularly shy, I enjoy people when I’m hanging out with them, and growing up with three siblings, solitude was a luxury only imagined. It wasn’t until I got older and was better able to control my life circumstances that I began paying attention to when I was most energized, when most depleted. I began to realize that I enjoyed small-group get-togethers much more than large conference-type events. I explored my Myers-Briggs profile and found I was an “INTJ.”

Then, just to confirm the determination, I recently found that out of Cain’s 20 questions to identify extroversion/introversion, 19 of my answers fell firmly into the introvert category.

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Virtual internship clearinghouse – starting points

Thank you to the many LinkedIn LIS Career Options group members who weighed in with absolutely terrific, thoughtful comments about the possibility of creating a virtual internship clearinghouse. Based on their contributions, we now have a “straw man” document to start knocking around.

Project Concept

The LIS Virtual Internship Clearinghouse (VIC) will comprise a searchable database of library- or information-based internships that could be completed by LIS students, recent grads, and job-hunters via online communication and virtual project work.

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Alternative LIS Job Titles

One of the questions that have come up on the LIS Career Options LinkedIn group is what types of titles to search for when looking for alternative LIS positions. This list below, which I put together for my Alternative LIS Careers course, is by no means comprehensive, but may help provide a starting point!

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Embedded Information Professionals

In his landmark work regarding embedded librarianship, David Shumaker (The Embedded Librarian) has identified an emerging model for special librarianship, one based on a central corporate library or information center that has one or more of its librarians “embedded” in – and working as part of – operational units rather than being located in the library.

However, a related but as yet fairly undefined career path is also evolving, one where librarians who were staff in an existing corporate library are moved into embedded information positions when the corporate library is dissolved. In this case, the librarian is essentially “untethered” from any internal library facility (or resources), creating a very different working dynamic.

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Only Connect

With apologies to E. M. Forster, “only connect” has been occupying a lot of brain space for me lately as I look back on two years of managing the LinkedIn LIS Career Options group. What I had launched as part of an SLA conference presentation, assuming it might grow to (perhaps?) 35 or 50 people, has become a forum for 3,685 members from over 50 countries engaging in over 450 discussion topics.

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The Permanent-Beta Career

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?)

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When You’ve Really Messed Up….

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.

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