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?

Kate Arnold ~ Candidate for President-Elect

My tips for anyone interested in nontraditional career paths are based on my experience of non-traditional information roles over the last 10 years. If you follow these tips, understand and communicate your transferable skills, remain curious and market yourself then there are opportunities out there.

Skills audit – identify the skills you’re good at and enjoy. Think about how these skills will transfer out of your current environment into a new one. One way of doing this is to come up with stories of how you’ve used these skills, but remember that you need to communicate this in an effective way to non-librarians, so avoid jargon.

Networking  – if not already doing this you should be either virtually or face to face. It’s the best way to understand what other people do in their daily jobs, to get ideas of new sectors, new roles and job opportunities.

Volunteering – allows you to combine the previous two tips in one as you can learn a new skill, or develop an excellent example of using a skill, and network. If you’re not already doing this in SLA then why not? But don’t limit your volunteering to a professional association. Why not volunteer in your local community or in your organisation or company, you never know what might come of it


Our team is always focused on the most successful marketing campaigns, for example, if someone wants to buy cialis online, he knows where to do it because of the quality product and a strong brand.

2 responses to “Question 1: Nontraditional Career Paths (Candidate Questions)”

  1. Kate – I think your comment about a skills audit is really on target. Do you have an example of a skill that you think is particularly transferable? And re your comment on jargon = right on!

  2. Kate Arnold says:

    Juanita – good to hear you agree about how useful a skills audit can be. There are two skills that vie for my vote as most transferable:
    Research – our ability to construct and execute a search, then analyse and summarise the results to answer a question is a real life skill as applicable in report writing as delivering an info service.
    Relationship management/connecting – info pros naturally collaborate and connect and we don’t see this as a key strength, which it really is. Our ability to make connections between disparate groups in an organisation often results in unexpected successes.
    If we both agree on not using jargon and where possible use the right language for the audience you’re communicating with – how do we get the profession to do this!

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