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Get a (Library-ish) Job!

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Did you ever wish that someone would just hand you a checklist for getting a job? Great news – this session will not only give you that checklist, but walk you through the whole process! Learn how to use self-assessment to review your skills, biases, values and interests. Improve your chances by leveraging your GLA membership, searching for jobs in library-adjacent fields, breaking down job advertisements, and writing audience-focused application packets. Wrap up by setting yourself up for success in your first six months on the job while helping your colleagues get their own dream jobs!

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Get a (Library-ish) Job!

  1. 1. Get a (Library-ish) Job! Sponsored by the GLA New Members Round Table Georgia Libraries Conference 2018 Cliff Landis
  2. 2. Introductions ● Librarian / Technologist with 15 years professional experience, primarily in academic libraries and archives. ● Currently: Digital Initiatives Librarian ● Maintain digital collections and software ● Joined AUC RWWL in March 2017 ● Passionate about career planning and professional development ● Recovering Perfectionist and Archivaholic ● Aspiring Systems Thinker (ala Gregory Bateson & Peter Senge) ● Obsession of the moment: Hügelkultur!
  3. 3. Content Note: Privilege, Power, Difference, and Bias My Presentation-of-Self appears to others as: ● White ● Male / Masculine ● Cisgender ● Heterosexual ● Able-bodied ● Neurotypical ● Anglo-sounding name ● Middle-class ● Educated ● Professionally experienced How people perceive me impacts how I’m treated, often to my own advantage.
  4. 4. Professional Experience ● March 2017 – Present - Digital Initiatives Librarian, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library, Atlanta, Georgia. ● July 2016 – January 2017 - Taxonomy and Metadata Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group, Atlanta, Georgia. ● June 2010 – June 2016 - Web Services Librarian / Assistant Professor, Georgia State University Library, Atlanta, Georgia. ● July 2004 – May 2010 - Reference Librarian / Assistant Professor, Odum Library, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia. ● January 2004 – June 2004 - Part-time Staff, Odum Library, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia. ● September 2003 – May 2004 - Library Intern, Odum Library, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia.
  5. 5. Job Search Experience Job Searches: ● I have worked in four professional positions, but to date I have applied for fourteen positions. So I have a success rate of 28.57% (or a failure rate of 71.43%), which I consider to be pretty good! Search Committees: ● Valdosta State University - Served on four search committees, Chaired three of them ● Georgia State University - Served on three search committees and two Structured/Admin reviews
  6. 6. Moment of Reflection: Why are you looking for a job?
  7. 7. Moment of Reflection: Why are you looking for a job? ● To pay the bills ● To move closer to family / friends / better climate ● To get new experience, to learn new skills ● To do what I really want to do ● To leverage for a promotion / more salary ● To make a difference ● To move up in the organization ● To see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel ● To get the heck out of here
  8. 8. THE GROUNDWORK
  9. 9. Know thyself ● Use a few self-assessment tools ● Discuss the results with folks who can help you see past your ego / blind spots ● Identify transferable skills & mindsets ● Identify communication, conflict, and management styles ● Identify values and work preferences ● As you do the above, identify strengths and weaknesses ● Set up regular check-ins to identify changes
  10. 10. 16 Personalities: INFJ - The Advocate / Protector Strengths: ● Creative ● Insightful ● Inspiring and Convincing ● Decisive ● Determined and Passionate ● Altruistic Weaknesses: ● Sensitive ○ Learn how to do conflict well and not take things personally ● Extremely Private ○ Learn how to be more open and vulnerable ● Perfectionistic ○ Learn how to enjoy “good enough” ● Always Need to Have a Cause ○ ….ummmmm ● Can Burn Out Easily ○ Conserve resources carefully, take vacation / breaks https://www.16personalities.com/infj-strengths-and-weaknesses
  11. 11. Identify Transferable Skills & Mindsets Example Skills: ● Collection Development/Management ● Evaluation of collections ● Reference Interviewing ● Information architecture ● Usability ● Library facilities management ● Reference Services ● User Education ● Problem Solving ● Scholarly Communication Example Mindsets: ● Ability to change/Agility ● Ethics and social responsibility ● Service Orientation ● Social dynamics of groups’ perspective ● Systems of Information Perspective ● Power dynamics inherent in information production perspective ● Social dynamics of groups’ perspective http://acrl.libguides.com/ld.php?content_id=31104424http://acrl.libguides.com/scholcomm/toolkit/RDMWorkshop
  12. 12. People & Communication ● Communication Styles ○ Passive, Aggressive, Passive-Aggressive, Assertive ○ All communication is an act of influence ○ Use every conversation as an opportunity to practice your communication skills ● Conflict Styles ○ Avoidance, Competition, Accommodation, Compromise, Consensus ○ Conflict is difference; don’t avoid it - use it ● Management Styles ○ Directive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Participative, Pacesetting, Coaching ○ You’ll need to manage down, up and sideways
  13. 13. Values & Work Preferences ● We’re most content and satisfied when our work aligns with our values ● Work Styles ○ Doer, Problem-Solver, Creator, Helper, Persuader, Organizer ● Ikigai ● Work Environment https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ikigai-EN-optimized-PNG.png
  14. 14. THE SEARCH
  15. 15. Build your Source CV ● You never give your Source CV to a potential employer - it’s a way to keep track of everything you’ve done professionally. ● Update it once a month to keep it current ● If you’re not sure if something belongs, put it in anyway ● Very handy for annual reviews! ● Organize by context, in reverse chronological order http://www.clifflandis.net/CV.pdf Example Contents: ● Executive Summary ● Education ● Professional Experience ● Special Experience ● Publications ● Professional Presentations ● Honors ● Professional Development ● Professional Organizations ● Grants ● Service ● Languages ● Computer Skills
  16. 16. Networking, Service, and Mentors ● Networking: Having conversations in professional social settings, like speed dating for colleagues with similar interests ● Service: Donating your labor to a professional organization ● Mentors: When you find someone you admire, ask if you can buy them a coffee in exchange for picking their brain for half an hour on [topic].
  17. 17. Internships, Staff Jobs & Volunteering ● Most of us don’t go straight from an MLIS program to our first professional job. ● Still in library school? Get as many internships as you can, and work on both projects and processes. You need hands-on experience to give examples in interview responses. ● Out of library school? Apply to both professional and staff jobs, either in a library or a library-adjacent field. ● Out of library school and working in a non-LIS field? Volunteer at a library and ask to work directly with librarians on projects. Every job pays you twice, once in salary and once in experience.
  18. 18. Library-Adjacent Job Ads / Titles Lib-Adjacent: https://www.libgig.com/, https://careers.sla.org/, http://inalj.com/ Tech: https://www.dice.com/, https://jobs.code4lib.org/, http://www.lisjobnet.com/jobs/jobs/, http://www.ala.org/lita/professional/jobs/looking, https://librarytechnology.org/jobs/ Field-Specific examples: https://aspt.net/opportunities/, https://damguru.com/jobs/, https://justuxjobs.com/, https://metadatajobs.net/ General: Glassdoor, Monster, Indeed, SimplyHired, LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, etc. Information Organization: Taxonomist, Metadata Manager, Analytics Manager, Curator, Archivist, Automation Coordinator, Business Information Specialist, Data Officer, Records Manager, Digital Asset Manager, Indexer, Information Architect, Database Manager, Privacy Officer Knowledge Management: Technical Writer, Documentation Specialist, Learning Resources Coordinator, Intelligence Analyst, Editor Herding: Project Manager, Head of…, ...Director
  19. 19. THE DANCE
  20. 20. Reviewing Job Ads ● Don’t forget to stretch! ● Print the job ad and highlight the important parts ● Identify the themes in the job ad ● Any highlighted parts that you don’t have prior experience with, you’ll need to address in your cover letter.
  21. 21. The Application Packet: Resume This is the quantitative part of your packet. Use this part to show off your work history, skills list, service, and productivity. ● Make a copy of your Source CV and start cutting out parts that aren’t relevant to this particular job. Each line in your Resume should be related to the job at hand. ● Change wording as necessary to emphasize the language used in the job ad, while also being true to your abilities.
  22. 22. The Application Packet: Cover Letter This is the qualitative part of your packet. Use this part to tell brief stories that demonstrate your skills and illustrate why those skills match the job. ● Use the first paragraph to state which job you’re applying for, where and when you saw it advertised (HR folks track this), and a broad statement about how your career experiences make you an excellent match for this position. ● Write each paragraph to address one of the themes. ● Use the first sentence of each paragraph as a link between the last paragraph and this one. ● Use the last paragraph to show appreciation for your current or most recent job, but that you’re looking forward to what this particular job offers.
  23. 23. The Application Packet: References This is the character part of your packet. These people will speak to your work ethic, collegiality, adaptability, and attitude. ● Seek out people who have worked with you at your best at work, preferably over an extended period of time. ● List one more person than required, and your relationship to each ● Contact your references before you list them ● Once you submit your application packet, send each of your references a copy of: the job ad, your cover letter, and your resume. ● It should go without saying, but don’t lie or misrepresent yourself in your application packet. You’re putting your references’ reputations on the line by asking them to speak on your behalf.
  24. 24. The Application Packet: Selling the Product ● You have to dust off your salesperson skills when applying for jobs ● Know the audience: tailor what you say to the person you’re communicating with ● Three Cs: ○ Clear: Make sure that your sentences are clear and free of ambiguity. ○ Concise: Say it briefly whenever possible. ○ Cogent: Ensure that what you’re saying makes sense and flows properly. ● Proofread: Let your packet “rest” for 24 hours without looking at it, and then re-read with a fresh set of eyes.
  25. 25. SUBMIT THE PACKET! ...Then pat yourself on the back! It’s a lot of mental and emotional work to build a solid application packet, and it’s worth it to take a few minutes to congratulate yourself on the work that you’ve done -- regardless of the eventual outcome. The speed of the process is extremely variable. Smaller, private, and for-profit organizations tend to move more quickly than larger, public, and not-for-profit organizations.
  26. 26. Researching the Employer ● Break out your business intelligence skills! ● Look at the company’s reputation online ● Although you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, forewarned is forearmed -- look out for repetitive red flags. ● Remember that although they’ll be interviewing you, you’ll also be interviewing them. ● Be thinking about any questions you will have for them based on your research. You want to find a place where you fit, not a place that’s going to take years off of your life in exchange for a salary.
  27. 27. Phone Interviews ● Set aside a quiet time and place. ● Use a corded landline phone and hold the handset. ● Have your application packet ready to glance at ● Keep your answers clear, concise, and cogent. ● Each answer should last two to five minutes. ● When possible, use examples from your projects to demonstrate your knowledge and experience. ● Have a set of three to five questions ready to ask the interviewers at the end. ● Send a thank-you email to each of the people you spoke with.
  28. 28. In-Person Interviews ● Be well-groomed, warm, and cheerful. ● Wear comfortable shoes, eat modestly, and sip on water throughout the day ● Have your full list of questions ready to ask the interviewers, potential coworkers, and HR. ● Pay attention to how potential coworkers speak and behave -- their demeanor can tell you a lot about the institutional culture and how well they’re treated by the organization. ● If you get them alone (i.e. during a tour) ask them about the institutional culture, what they think of your potential boss, what they like best/least about working there, etc. ● Send a thank-you card to each of the people that you interacted with.
  29. 29. HR Conversations ● Be particularly mindful of your behavior and word choice when interacting with Human Resources. ● If it’s brought up, be honest about any obstacles in your past (bad credit, being fired, employment gaps, arrests, etc.). ● Patience is best when waiting to hear from a potential job. If you find yourself worrying over not having heard back, put that energy into more job applications rather than asking for the status of the search.
  30. 30. Negotiating salary ● Look closely at the salary and benefits package. ● Figure out your ideal/minimum salary range beforehand. ● Know that your future raises will be calculated as a percentage of your starting salary -- the higher your starting salary, the larger your raises. ● Don’t take the first offer -- always negotiate for a higher salary. ● If you get an offer but would like to stay at your current job, notify your supervisor and ask for a meeting to discuss whether the library is willing to make a competitive offer.
  31. 31. Acceptance or Rejection ● If you receive a rejection notice at any point, send a thank you email to the main point of contact (typically either HR or a search committee member). ● If you decide to withdraw from the search, notify and send a thank you email to the main point of contact. ● If you accept the offer, congratulations! You have a new job! ○ Do not quit/provide notice to your current job until after you sign your new contract and your new employer notifies you that it has been received. ○ Make a photocopy of any paperwork that you have to send to HR, before you send it, especially contracts.
  32. 32. THE NEW BEGINNING
  33. 33. First Weeks ● Set up brief one-on-one meetings ● Ask for all the job-relevant documentation you can get your hands on and read it all. ● Ask for three goals/projects you should focus on for your first three to six months. ● Make an HR binder with copies of your contract, benefits info, employee handbook, etc. ● Understand coworkers’ philosophical approach to library practice. For example: “How much description should be provided for our collections?” “If you can’t find the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?” “More product, less process” “Something is better than nothing” *wordless scream*
  34. 34. Don’t get ready, stay ready ● Do a weekly review, so you know everything that you’re not doing but could be doing if you decided to. ● Make a P&T (promotion and tenure) binder and file away anything of professional significance: annual reviews, substantive thank you emails, presentation programs, copies of articles you wrote. ● Update your source CV once a month. ● Do professional development every week. Every. Week. ● Look at job ads regularly to identify skills that you want to learn. ● Serve on search committees. This is the fastest way to see the job application process done both well and poorly. You will also hear how other employees evaluate applicants.
  35. 35. Give a leg-up ● Work with GLA’s NMRT even after you are no longer a “new member” ● Share professional development opportunities, to help coworkers stay abreast of changes in the field. ● Be generous with your time when it comes to coaching new professionals in the field -- it’s very rewarding to be thanked for helping someone get their dream job.
  36. 36. ...And don’t forget to dress for success! Thank you! clifflandis.net Checklist available at: https://cutt.ly/ Libraryish_Job_Checklist

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