Nerida Hart – Candidate for Director – What advise would you give someone in their 20’s just entering the profession about how to find and keep a fabulous job as a special librarian or information professional?
My first advice – network, learn, network even more.
Then be flexible in your approach – being a librarian is not about following the rules. You will need to be innovative and creative as the world is changing at a rate I am not sure any of us can completely comprehend.
What you learn and who you learn from may surprise you. Make the effort to go to events that are outside the scope of your job and talk to anyone and everyone. Don't think about whether or not they are relevant to your job. Sometimes the greatest inspiration comes from outside 'left field'.
If you are inside an organisation in a special library make the effort to talk to colleagues while waiting in line for your coffee. Join the social club and be on organising committees as a volunteer. Yes your job will keep you busy but don't bury yourself away being 'busy'. 'Busy' won't gain you the business intelligence about your clients so you can effectively demonstrate your worth in the organisation. make sure as many colleagues as possible know you and what you do.
And outside your employing organisation join professional associations like SLA. Stretch yourself and become involved in your local knowledge management groups – see who else is in fields which cross over with you and build alliances. We are more powerful toegther than alone.
Be flexible – take opportunities within your organisation to be involved in projects – don't think to yourself this is not relevant to my job – it will be – perhaps not immediately but the relationships you form and what you learn will be important in the future.
And above all – HAVE FUN – working with information and knowledge is fun and the relationships you build and the friends you make will be forever.
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