Category Archives: Careers

Dark Side of Networking

I’ve seen quite a few articles extolling the virtues of networking as a job hunter. I personally think it’s an activity that those who currently have a job should do as well — but that’s besides the point.
I’ve attended a number of events that have afforded me opportunities to network and I’ve observed some networking strategies that I thought deserved to be blogged about.
First, you should ALWAYS have your business cards on you. Ok, you get a pass for not having one on you at the beach. But otherwise always you should always carry at least one business card with you at all times. You never know when or where you might bump into a potential contact or connection. This goes without saying at a networking event.
Second, follow up. Please follow up! I don’t understand why people go to networking events and then fail to follow-up on contacts they’ve made there. Following-up can be connecting with someone via Linkedin, following them on Twitter, or e-mailing them. You might not think it’s a big deal if you fail to follow-up. I mean: what are the chances of these people remembering you didn’t, anyway. But that is the problem: you want people to remember you in the context of networking and to think of you when they hear of job openings. The information profession isn’t that big and, in NYC anyway, we all know each other. You may not even realize it, but people may tell hiring managers to watch for your name.
On a related topic: apply for jobs at places where you already know people who work there. You never know what’s happening behind the scenes. Let’s say a colleague you met knows of a job opening in their organization. they might not email you to tell you to apply, but they did tell the hiring manager to look out for your name. But then if you don’t apply and they later run into you and find out you’re still looking, they may think less of you and be less likely to help you in the future. Don’t discount the impressions you give at these events, you never know what results they may produce.
Third (and lastly and probably the most important), networking isn’t just about landing a new job. It’s about forging and maintaining connections between colleagues. Networking doesn’t automatically lead to jobs and the people you meet networking can’t always give you a job. Networking is about being part of your professional community. If you network looking only for your next job, you may not find it. Worse yet, if you network with such single-mindedness it may give you a bad reputation.
One side note to networking: networking affords you an opportunity to showcase your soft skills. Those interpersonal assets that you can’t include on a resume and can’t always highlight at an interview can flourish by casting a wide net at networking events.
For more information on networking, check out Ellen Mehling’s recent article on elevator speeches: http://metro.org/articles/your-introduction-elevator-speech-and-origin-story-face-to-face-networking-tips/

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Thoughts on young archivist article from the American Archivist

I meant to publish this entry some time ago but it got lost in my draft folder.

I read an article ” Career Satisfaction of Young Archivists: a Survey of Professional Working Archivists, Age 35 and Under” by Amber L. Cushing in The American Archivist Journal.

I’m happy that the SAA published this article, I think  after the creation of SNAP, they are beginning to take note of new archivists.  While this article focuses on new young archivists I would be interested to see if older new archivists, those over 35, are fairing any  in the job market.

The only issue I had with this article is that they identified new archivists as someone with a paid position.  It doesn’t address new young archivists who could only find volunteer work .  I think that accounts for a significant portion of this demographic that is overlooked by this article.

While I do find it encouraging that most of the respondents were satisfied with their day to day work.  It’s unsurprising that those with temporary positions don’t like the lack of job security and I’m happy she points out that young archivists want more chances of promotion. I these two factors affect the overall morale of new archivists more than work satisfaction.  If a person isn’t confident or secure in their job that may translate to their professional growth.

I wouldn’t be surprised either if there is a brain drain in the archival profession as a result of un/underemployed archivists seeking better work elsewhere. I myself rejected paid archival work twice last year to take non-archival jobs that offered better employment.

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Good interview advice for everyone

This slideshare has some really good interview advice that I think everyone could use, not just  recent graduates. While this slideshare is not directed towards the library science crowd it’s information is just as relevant.

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NYAC 2013 (part 3)

As for Friday I skipped the first session, but I wouldn’t miss the Breaking into the Field: Reports from Emerging Professionals session for anything. One of my friends from the MTA job was presenting. She did a great job, if fact they all did a remarkable job. All of the presenters should be very proud of themselves. There were plenty of tips, tricks, and personal anecdotes that I found both helpful and comforting. One of the presenters, Allie, posted her slides online. If you’re interested you can find them here.
I would highly recommend checking them out.
All too soon the conference came to an end. However, the closing luncheon was a fitting ending. There was plenty of food and we were even invited to take some more. Which I’m sure was appreciated by those who had to take a long trip home. It included a presentation from Karen Falk, the director of the Jim Henson archives, which included endearing and humorous video clips of some of his characters.
NYAC is a great conference, it has a family atmosphere. It’s a great place to start presenting and even better conference to catch up with colleagues. Since it’s small, attendees have more time to get to know each other on a deeper level. Let me put it this way: it’s very hard to get lost in the crowd at NYAC and that’s what makes it a unique experience.

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SNAP ACA study tips post and reposting my comment from there

The SNAP blog has a great post on studying for ACA exam.  I wrote a reply there on my suggestions which I’m going to copy below. You’re going to have to read their post to know what I’m talking about.

These are all great tips and I can’t agree more with starting to study early. I made up a whole bunch of flash cards that I studied from which helped alot. I made outlines of some of the readings I did. I also made a list of topics I felt weak on right after I took the test when it was fresh in my mind. This way if I had to repeat it I knew exactly what I needed to focus on.
I’m not sure about splitting up the readings for a group. I would worry I would miss something. If you do that, I would do it for some of the readings not for all.
Personally I think Greg Hunter’s Yellow book helped me the most in studying. http://www.amazon.com/Developing-Maintaining-Practical-Archives-How/dp/1555704670
Full disclaimer: I might be bias he was my archiving professor at Palmer and that was my textbook. Also you by no means should just focus on that one book, it won’t work.
My suggestion if you’re taking this test for the first time is to study your best and go in relaxed. If you pass great if you don’t view it as practice and focus on your weak points for next time. Whatever you do don’t give up.

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The sunny side of the Signal

The Signal strikes again with another amazing article on dare I say a bright outlook for librarian job growth. I was skeptical about this post when I first heard about it but it seems pretty solid. Then again I thirst for good news these days it doesn’t take much to quench it. Also in the comments section for that entry I found a nice little gem another optimistic tidbit I think, but better I love how she lists all the different job titles. I look forward to seeing more from her.

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Why I like my bag of Tricks

While on assignment for a temp agency, I realized the importance of something that I had taken for granted. My bag. I got into the habit of keeping a lot of extra items in my bag: pencils, erasers, and a pencil sharpener. I can’t express how much of an asset these were during this temp project. When we needed to erase quite a bit and the small eraser on the pencil was rubbed out, I was able to supply to group with one. When we needed to sharpen our pencils, we were able to use mine. It was a very useful resource and something I’ll be sure to take with me to future positions.

Also I found this to be an interesting article on the future of cloud computing.

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