by Africa Hands, Head Editor, INALJ Kentucky
Guess what friends? It may not seem like it, but you are in charge of your career, personal development, and advancement. The career website Careerealism has a tagline, Because Every Job is Temporary. Sure it’s somewhat disconcerting, but these days it’s true. You can’t rely on your supervisor to inform you of professional development opportunities, webinars, conferences, local meetings. It’s your job to find these opportunities and participate. You can’t rely on your employer to be in business tomorrow. Heck, even federal and state-level employees can’t be certain that they’ll be able to work five days a week. Furlough Fridays anyone?
This may sound disturbing, but really it is an opportunity to Opt In. We are in charge of staying informed of and involved in the library and information services field. And whether we do it on our own time or company time, we must opt in. We must opt in to attending free and low-cost webinars during our lunch breaks or in the evenings. We must opt in to submitting a proposal to present at the worldwide virtual international library conference – Library 2.013. We must opt in to actively participating and networking with colleagues in groups on LinkedIn and on professional listservs. We must opt in to participating in chats on Twitter using our personal Twitter accounts for what we may think is “work related”.
- Say “yes” to committee work. Say “yes” to serving as a reviewer for a manuscript. Say “yes” to invitations to participate in chat sessions. Say “yes” because you are in control of your professional development which feeds into your career advancement.
There are numerous opportunities for opting in.
- Want to hop on some Twitter chats, share resources with colleagues, and expand your network? Check out this list of essential Twitter chats for librarians.
- Interested in writing for the profession? Check out A Library Writer’s Blog for opportunities.
- Want to ease into conference presenting? Submit a proposal to Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference. http://www.library20.com/2013
- In school and want to get involved with the ALA? Join as a student and take advantage of the student rate.
- Want to serve on an ALA committee? Fill out the volunteer form. Each division has its own process but it all starts with a form. Associations can’t function without active, dedicate members.
- Want to lurk on a listserv to learn more about a division or roundtable. Log in and sign up.
There is no shortage of opportunities available for you to take charge of your professional development and your career. Go ahead. Opt in.