I am excited to start 2013 and to be graduating in a few months with my M.L.I.S. That being said, it is a tough job market. As I finish my last semester, I am both excited and nervous to move from student mode into a job searching groove. My ideal job would be to work in an academic library in the metadata or digital initiatives department. However, I want also want to be attractive and able to transfer my skills to other aspects of librarianship, or even another profession I find interesting. So starting this New Year, I decided to make professional resolutions that will allow me to both market myself effectively and make me further attractive to hiring committees. So my New Year’s professional resolutions are:
- Expand My Digital Library Skillset:
My current skills include metadata, digital asset preservation and digitization. Additionally, I took metadata coursework and gained professional experience through my internship at the Mountain West Digital Library. This semester, I am taking database management (which includes learning SQL) and architect of internet services. Additionally, I want to commit to learning the basics of other coding languages. I am already familiar with basic HTML and CSS. There are several online sites, such as code academy, which teach the basics of several other languages including java script and python. While I am not looking to be a programmer, it is important to be able to market I am familiar with the basics of several coding languages, and thus better able to communicate better with tech people and understand the functionality behind the scenes of digital collections. Finally, by learning these languages, I hope to be better able to utilize these skills to improve upon my currently skill level in designing and manipulating websites.
2. Don’t let my Library Skillset Become Stagnant:
Maybe this is premature as I am not even out of graduate school. However and unfortunately, I continue to talk with recent graduates who are having difficulty finding employment. In case I am unable to find a job in a library right away after graduation, I want to make a resolution to consider volunteering in order to continue to gain professional experience, keep my skills sharp, and expand my network. Even finding ways to adapt those skills to other opportunities. After all, I invested all this time developing my knowledge and digital skills! Wouldn’t it be a shame to let them get rusty so early in my career?
3. Focus my Marketing My Brand:
Blogging provides the opportunity to research, learn and share my take on libraries, while social media continue to provide opportunities to learn, connect and share interesting content with other librarians. I have a twitter, blog, LinkedIn and Google plus profiles which I continue to active on (well the blog not so much, hence the New Year’s resolution). Now, for the New Year, I want to focus these avenues to really market myself. This will involving sharing, producing and connecting to content and professionals currently involved in my ideal library positions. For example, LinkedIn recently added a new feature which allows you to display presentations directly on your profile. I hope to post and showcase my internship and graduate projects and work. In essence I need to identify, highlight and sell my strengths and skills, and then make it easy for employers to find this information about me. The strengths I highlight in my resume and cover letter, need to be enhanced and supported by the activities of my online brand.
4. Capitalize on My Network:
There are several successful people in my network. But, I have let to take advantage of the knowledge of these professionals! I continue to find that librarians are almost always willing to help, connect and collaborate, especially someone looking to “make it” in the field. For those that have “made it” in metadata and digital libraries, I want to begin messaging them and see if they can offer any professional insight. There are also several people who used the degree for nontraditional library jobs. This year, I will get into contact with these professionals and learn more about how they accomplished this, the benefits, drawbacks,inspiration, etc.