Question 1 – Nontraditional Career Paths (Candidate Questions)

What sort of advice would you give to professionals, both newly minted and more seasoned professionals, who might be interested in nontraditional career paths?

John DiGilio, Candidate for Treasurer:

Conventional wisdom has long been that good things come to those who wait. Well, these are NOT conventional times. In today's fast-paced, financially challenged market, good things come to those who go after them. This is as true of a rewarding career, especially a non-traditional one, as it is for anything else worth having these days. Taking an active role in SLA is just the first step in the chase. It opens doors to possibilities you may have never knew existed. However, once you get in the door, it is up to you to make the most of the opportunities. My recommendations are simple:

  • Explore: SLA's divisions and caucuses represent the full breadth and extent of our profession. The information professionals who make up this Association come from fascinating and wildly diverse sectors of the industry. You won't know they are even there if you do not venture out to meet them. Just scan the list of units and you will be amazed at some of the groupings. Each one is an opportunity. Do not squander those possibilities, immerse yourself in them.
  • Educate: Continuing education is a major component of what you get for your membership dollars. From Click U to sessions being offered by the various units. Again, you have to avail yourself of what is out there. If you want to know what some of your non-traditionally placed colleagues are doing, why not take the chance to hear it from them directly?
  • Finally, Network. These one should speak for itself. But let me put it another way, "network like you mean it". It is not enough to show up at events. You have get in there and rub elbows with your colleagues. You will be as fascinating to them as they are to you, IF you give them the chance to get to know you. I have gotten every professional position I have ever held this way.

Good things may come to those who wait. But why wait? Do you have that kind of time? Being part of SLA is a golden opportunity to explore the frontiers of this profession. You just have to strap on your boots and get ready to stake a claim!

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