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career Library Jobs

Work Balance

With the pandemic came a greater need to understand work life balance and how it affects families. Read on for ideas to keep your career on track and a healthy balance at home.

Stop Multitasking

Women are more prone to multitask more than men. However, none of us can complete two tasks at once. You end up doing two tasks, half-way or having to redo something else. In other words, focus on one thing at a time. Whether it’s answering email, phone calls, or watching your kid’s soccer game. Do one and only one thing at a time.

You’d be amazed how much you can accomplish if you concentrate on one task, complete it, and move on.  I’m a mom too, so I understand the feelings.  Stop multitasking now for a healthier lifestyle.

Lists Are Your Friends

Write down what you need to do. Whether it’s in your google calendar, a paper list, or in Notes; write it down. When you write something down, it gives your brain permission to move on. You are not “holding on” to the item in your head. You can clear the way for other tasks that come up.

It might be important to pick up dog food or prepare for a work meeting but don’t give each task equal importance. Write it down and cross it off when completed.  Have a work list and home list to keep things simple or color code your task list.

Plan Time to Relax

Just as you would plan for your work meeting, block off down time at home. As a super achiever this is important, so you don’t burn out. Self-care and taking time for yourself is the most important task you can do for your family and you.

Your immune system will thank you and your gratitude level will increase with self-care. If you find it difficult to “unwind” check out some reaffirming daily reminders to help.  Having reminders of what you have, (not what you don’t) is the very best method to find peace in life.

Pets

Finally, get a dog or cat for companionship. Research has shown that petting a dog or cat reduces a human’s anxiety level immediately. Pets are relaxing and allow you to focus on something other than work or other distractions. Taking care of an animal opens up empathy for other creatures and nurturing skills.

For more living well ideas check my personal website: KathyHusserTempe.com

 

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Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Jobs Library Leadership

Goalsetting for Your Career


Goalsetting is a useful tool to guide your career in any industry, especially in libraries. Read on for tools to help in setting goals and developing your career plan for future growth. With work- place cultures changing due to COVID, realigning your goals now might be right for you.

Gap Analysis

A standard gap analysis determines your current status, and where you’d like to end up. The gap or what’s missing is in the middle. Does this gap need to be filled with education, another job, increased salary, or a new geographic asset? Only you can determine what is the most important factor and how to obtain your goal. Having your plan benchmarked with SMART goals and establishing a plan to close gaps will get you there. Smaller goals should build upon one another to fill the gaps and ultimately help you achieve your main career objective.

Mentors

Finding a trusted mentor you can rely on will help in your career plan. Finding more than one will help even more, especially if a few are outside of your industry. Jobs and careers are made with relationships and connections. Networking and finding mentors might be a little more difficult with more industries working remotely. However, volunteering for service events, attending conferences, and adding value in your current job, position you as a leader. Mentors are drawn to natural leaders, so just ask if you feel a connection with a colleague. The more genuine connections you make with people, the more likely you will find someone to help you.

Use LinkedIn

Finally, use LinkedIn and use it a lot. If your partner’s career dictates your geographic location and possibly your career goals now, then pivot. What I mean is, what smaller achievements can you accomplish which will help you get toward that larger career goal. Think about teaching, volunteering, or shadowing someone in your desired industry or job. Anything to make yourself more valuable to a future employer will help you in the long run. To overcome a geographic obstacle be sure to link with colleagues in your desired location. You never know what opportunities might open or when you might make a physical move.

Having a career plan is a way to keep your goals on track, yet flexible for life. Especially with the pandemic having families rethink priorities, having a career plan in place will make you feel more in control of your future. Best of luck!

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career Library Jobs

Prepare for an Interview

With the pandemic still at the forefront of our lives, interviewing for library jobs are being held virtually. You need to be ready to bring your skills and personality through the screen and get that job!

Research the Job

To prepare for your interview reviewing the library’s website and the job duties is necessary. Topics to be familiar with are the communities the library serves and popular programs. You will have a better understanding of your role if hired too.

Organize your thoughts and bring forward in the interview what you know about the library and the organization. You need to think about what value you can bring with your experience and passion for the job. Have a final few questions in mind. You show the interviewers what you know about their workplace and the time you took to understand the culture and their needs.

Practice your answers

Practice makes permanent, a mentor and teacher once shared with me. Anticipate the interview questions, or at least some of them.  Collaboration stories, rising from a problem or failure, handling public complaints will all be questions you should be prepared to answer.  If you don’t have real-world library experience, provide examples from your volunteer work. Student activities or stories from your personal life, like volunteering, also provide solid examples.

Making your stories personal, concise (no more than 2 minutes per answer) and appropriate for the question, will give you an advantage.  You need to make yourself memorable to the interview panel. The more you practice, the more natural and relaxed you will come across in your interview.

Be yourself

Finally, let your natural personality come through during your time with the interviewers. You are determining if the library and organization are a good fit for your needs, just like they are sizing you up. Ask at least two questions, not answered during the interview. Think about specifically the job, work culture or unfamiliar responsibilities you might need clarifying.

This shows your interest and initiative to understand what the library needs.  Outreach, children’s story times, working with teens are topics you can expand upon once you are aware of the job tasks. Your true self will shine through. Good Luck and just know the library needs you as much as you need this job, so relax and be yourself!

Follow me for more career and living well tips at: KathyHusserTempe.com

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career Library Jobs Library Leadership

Increasing Morale

With employee engagement estimated to be at all time low, meaning only 15% of employees worldwide feel engaged at work, increasing your team’s morale and involvement is so important to keep moving forward on a positive path for 2022. Here are a few tired and true methods to get your team’s mood lifted and fun happening to increase productivity and happiness.

Celebrate Everything

Whether it is monthly birthdays, new babies, graduations, or promotions, celebrating events builds connections and strong bonds with your team. Furthermore, increasing these relationships and building trust with leadership is the first step to increasing morale in work teams.

Not only does celebrating at work recognize people, but you will also learn more about employees’ likes, family life, and hobbies. Furthermore, building strong, trusting relationships is vital to a healthy work culture. Finally, increasing employee engagement is important in creating those foundational leadership steps with your team.

Dress Days

Even with remote work, dressing up with a certain theme in mind or in special attire can have such a positive impact.   Morale will increase and conversations will start with your colleagues about your attire. Think about establishing an entire week, Monday through Friday, as special dress up days. Name the week, “Spirit Week” or Wacky Week of Dress Up.”

Whatever gets employees geared up for fun! For example: sports teams on Monday, crazy socks on Tuesday, or your favorite TV or movie themes on Wednesday. You get the idea. Get creative and have some fun.

Finally, make every day in the office a celebration! You should consider hosting a week of special lunches with activities tied into your theme. You need to think about virtual work arounds if everyone is not together in the office. Your creativity is the limit!

Host a Staff Day

As discussed in January’s post, host a special day (or even a half day) devoted to professional development. Bring in free speakers from the surrounding community library or from other departments to speak.The topics should be chosen to make an impact on your staff. You need to think about pending health, safety, or new library policies to be introduced.

Consider introducing new technology, especially in our virtual world. This would be a great start, to then follow up with smaller trainings. Your team needs your leadership to be more involved and excited about work. Conduct a survey and understand what people want to learn before planning the day

You will discover a lot about your team, and they will thank you for creating the tradition of a designated Staff Day. For more career tips follow me at KathyHusserTempe.com

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career Library Jobs Library Leadership

Strategic Plans

SWOT analysis was covered in a previous post as the first step in creating strategic plans. If you are new to library planning or directorship, read on for simple tips to get started in strategic planning.

Six Components of a Strategic Plan

The six components needed for a robust library strategic plan are:

  1. A Vision Statement – usually taken from your organization, university, or city
  2. Core Values – your organization adheres too and embodies for your community
  3. Culture and Behaviors – need to be intertwined in the plan from the overarching values
  4. Themes from Data – need to be addressed from focus groups and surveys
  5. Timeframe Established – with deadlines to gauge results and outcomes of the plan
  6. Metrics – to provide feedback and business results for the effectiveness of the plan

Gain Support

Gaining the support of Human Resources and senior leadership is so important. This will enable your library to further explain the “why” behind the strategic plan. Your library will gain valuable partnerships. Furthermore, your success will determine having the backing of HR and your staff to see your vision behind the objectives. You need to start a year in advance with informational meetings with managers and partners involved.

Partners 

The Library Friends, Board and managers need to have all the information and the projected timeline for the plan. Again, you need to gain support before you invite focus groups or engage with the SWOT analysis for staff.

Your first job is to engage your senior leadership, so they understand the importance of your intended road map. Having an objective for EDI, professional development, community goals is important.

Data Mining

After gaining support and hosting focus groups and surveys, you need to develop a committee to mine the data. You will gain valuable knowledge about needs, wants and goals for your plan. Next, develop objectives, timelines, and metrics for the plan objectives. Taking the necessary time to dig into the weeds is important. Data will be different depending upon the goal and result.

However, don’t let personal interests or “sacred cows” drive the strategic plan. Your leadership is most important here, to establish measurable outcomes that impact your community.

Follow Up and Feedback

Finally, after your strategic plan is approved, you need to implement and measure the results. These last steps are as important as the planning stages. You need to measure your objectives.

Questions to consider:

  • How did new software impact our customers?
  • Was the extra expense in personnel provide improved (and improved) access?  Measure it.
  • What was the outcome of the increased Wi-Fi in the building? Include raw data and narratives.

Again, feedback and results will need to be analyzed for success and moving forward. A strategic plan, especially during Covid, is a fluid document. Remaining flexible is my best advice.

Furthermore, a Library Director needs to have the vision and leadership to handle anything. A strategic plan gives you that roadmap to help lead and plan for the future. Best of luck!

Tell me how your strategic planning is moving forward during this challenging time. Please share your successes at: KathyHusserTempe.com

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Library Jobs

Career Development

Organizations will have you train or take self-paced learning courses when starting a new job. When you are a tenured worker or better yet a knowledgeable librarian, what professional development should you focus on? What are the next steps in your career development of librarianship?  Read on for advice to broaden your skillsets. Professional development allows you to excel to the next level in your library career.

Volunteer to Lead

When you are offered an opportunity to lead or be a part of a committee, take it!  For example, leading the annual staff training day or planning for the summer reading program should be on your radar. Plan to participate and provide your valuable input  and leadership.

If you work in an academic library, consider volunteering to work on a grant application to benefit your institution and library. Taking the initiative to lead will show others you have the leadership qualities to move forward.

Develop a Plan

As a professional your own development is up to you. Come up with other methods to excel and stand out in your organization in the specialty you’re pursuing. For example, if you are a youth services librarian, then branch out into another areas. Gain a mentor in a technical area to broaden your skills. However, be of  value to the organization in any area and find your niche.

Looking for opportunities and asking to help in other areas is always appreciated by leadership. You will get you noticed for other openings as they become available. Have a plan or goal in mind and ask the appropriate manager if you can shadow to learn new tasks. Furthermore, take on extra responsibilities to learn a brand new skill. You will thank yourself down the road for taking the leap.

Be Flexible

Keep in mind opportunities will present themselves when you least except them. So, be flexible and take them when they’re offered. Be ready to jump at a chance if a position aligns with your goals and career options.

Finally, timelines and career focus are great, but life is unpredictable. You need to remain open to unique opportunities.  If you’ve worked hard and provide value to an organization, they will snap you up. You both win.  Good Luck and Happy Learning!

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career Library Jobs Library Leadership

Career Mentoring for Success

Being a mentor or getting mentoring advice will help your career success in many ways you might not realize. Here are a few reasons  why putting yourself out there to provide advice to a colleague helps you and your mentee. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a mentee is “one who is being mentored a protégé.”

Job Satisfaction

Studies have shown that sharing your job knowledge and leadership experiences gives you a more satisfied feeling in your  role. Furthermore, we feel good when we have mastered a skill. We feel even better when we can share that with others. Mentors show commitment to their profession and their teams. Sharing  a bit of ourselves and our experience broadens our relationships. A trusting mentor/mentee relationship is invaluable for job satisfaction.

Succession Planning

When you receive mentoring from a leader or another colleague you are learning valuable lessons from a seasoned employee. Someone who has already been through an experience or solved a particular issue. This creates a great learning opportunity to gain knowledge and have exposure to real-world examples. These topics you might never even know existed, if not for your mentor. Like the old saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Hearing and learning firsthand from a mentor are valuable ways to expand your toolkit for heading up the career ladder and in turn assisting your organization’s leadership.

Additional Exposure

For men and women mentoring gives an opportunity to show your company what you’ve got to offer and can open additional opportunities for your career growth.  Professional conferences, industry memberships and networking events can all be a form of mentoring or passing on valuable experience to help others in your industry. With travel opening more, considering a more formal platform to share your skills and experience with others.

Not able to travel? How about a more organic platform to mentor colleagues and share your experiences openly. I remember a roundtable of community stakeholders that would assemble once a quarter to discuss current business trends. This group discussed challenges and upcoming concerns others might not be aware of. This was a group method of passing on important information while keeping our networks active. While not as personal as one on one mentoring, connections were made and relationships were forged during our gatherings four times each year and continue today.

If you have an idea on a mentoring strategy let me know. We all should be sharing and learning!

Categories
career Library Jobs Library Leadership

Goal Setting

Goalsetting is a useful tool to guide your career in any industry, especially in libraries. Read on for tools to help in setting goals and developing your career plan for future growth. With work- place cultures changing due to COVID, realigning your goals now might be right for you.

Gap Analysis

A standard gap analysis determines your current status, and where you’d like to end up.  The gap or what’s missing is in the middle. Does this gap need to be filled with education, another job, increased salary, or a new geographic asset? Only you can determine what is the most important factor and how to obtain your goal. Having your plan benchmarked with SMART goals and establishing a plan to close gaps will get you there. Smaller goals should build upon one another to fill the gaps and ultimately help you achieve your main career objective.

Mentors

Finding a trusted mentor you can rely on will help in your career plan. Finding more than one will help even more, especially if a few are outside of your industry. Jobs and careers are made with relationships and connections. Networking and finding mentors might be a little more difficult with more industries working remotely. However, volunteering for service events, attending conferences, and adding value in your current job, position you as a leader. Mentors are drawn to natural leaders, so just ask if you feel a connection with a colleague. The more genuine connections you make with people, the more likely you will find someone to help you.

Use LinkedIn

Finally, use LinkedIn and use it a lot. If your partner’s career dictates your geographic location and possibly your career goals now, then pivot.  What I mean is, what smaller achievements can you accomplish which will help you get toward that larger career goal.  Think about teaching, volunteering, or shadowing someone in your desired industry or job.  Anything to make yourself more valuable to a future employer will help you in the long run. To overcome a geographic obstacle be sure to link with colleagues in your desired location.  You never know what opportunities might open or when you might make a physical move.

Having a career plan is a way to keep your goals on track, yet flexible for life. Especially with the pandemic having families rethink priorities, having a career plan in place will make you feel more in control of your future.  Best of luck!

Categories
Librarian & Entrepreneurship Library Jobs

Tips for Getting a Job at a Library

When you apply for a job, it is a good idea to know what to expect. Working in a library is a great job. Preparing for your interview so that you can stand out from other applicants is very important. Continue reading for tips on what hiring managers look for and how to get your first job at a library.

Library Organizations Provide Experience

Think about the skills you need as a librarian and get some experience from other organizations. There are many different groups to provide volunteer service. You want to gain experience that you can relate and tell a story in your interview. For example, the American Library Association is a great resource to learn more about library careers and jobs. The site provides information on training and links for more in-depth local volunteer opportunities.

Research the Job

It is important to learn as much as you can about the job you apply for in the library. Positions vary due to the amount of public service or contact you may need such as cash handling experience.  Visit the library’s website and research past programs, the online calendar, and any meeting minutes. Learn as much as you can about the goals for the library and how your future job would support initiatives.  In addition, researching the library’s website will help you understand the partners and programs offered. This research provides even more conversation starters for your future interview. You could also visit the library beforehand to get a feel for the work culture and fit for your needs. Observing library staff in action will give you valuable insights into what to expect from a possible job there.

Complete Application

Your application should be thorough and cover all the experience you have accumulated. Any work or volunteer time that relates to libraries should be listed, such as customer service and cash handling. In addition, make sure that you include a cover letter and your resume addressed to the hiring manager. This detail could make you stand out from other applicants who do not include these personalized touches. Also, make sure to have a friend or family member proofread your application to ensure there are no mistakes. Proper grammar is also very important to make a good first impression on the hiring manager.

Finally, run through a practice interview with a friend who understands the job and your skills. You will have more confidence and less nerves if you practice in a conversational style. Good luck!