career development managing self reflections

A matter of confidence


Back in January, I shared my ambitions for this blog going forward:

I realised I don’t share what I know and what I’m working on often enough. Nor do I share my reflections on learning and issues I see coming out of the news and publications….so I’m thinking there are lessons to be shared in this space…

Three months later….you see, there’s a matter of confidence. I don’t believe I was quite ready to share my work here again just yet.

Nearly 18 months ago, a life changing event absolutely shattered me, rocked me to the core. I lost my Mum. As much as I like to keep personal things where they belong, I don’t believe anyone could hold the divide between professional and personal through something like this. Even if no one knew what was happening, the loss inevitably would spill over, which it did, and threaten my capacity to undertake my professional work.

I’d never doubted myself as a professional as much as I did during those first 12 months. I’d never doubted so much my place in the library and information profession, my career direction, progress and choice, my knowledge, my skills and what I bring to my work roles. Crikey, and I was the strong one who was always propping Mum up.

I was fortunate to have a few people believe in me. Their faith helped me to put the pieces of my professional self back together. I am grateful.

So, there’s little surprise with what I’ve noticed recently. I may be finding my groove again, finally. I don’t want to raise my hopes, but there have been signs.

  • positive feedback from higher up on a project briefing I gave a couple of weeks ago
  • accepting more research assistant work
  • a confident, ‘standing in my big girl shoes’ presentation to library and information science Masters students

I’ve been in this profession since 2010, nearly six years, you’d think I’d have the hang of sharing my work by now. But I hit a pretty big speed bump, and now I’m slowly making my way back. I’ve written over on my other blog, Notebook + Tea, since January, but not here. I’m out of practice and out of the habit. Confidence can only be built up with practice. And practice I shall do.

Sharing work is scary. Always will be. But re-establishing a habit should ease this somewhat. Barriers such as ‘what value can I add?’ or ‘what would people think?’ eventually diminish over time as the habit of sharing takes over. The problem I have now is to know where to start writing and choosing the ideas I’ll run with first.

Writing here, I think is one of the last pieces of my professional self to be put back into place. When out of the habit and writing a post takes much mental power to put words on a screen I wonder, who is Flight Path for, anyway? Why do I still have a blog? The answer to these questions are in an article I wrote for ALIA InCite in the March/April issue. I called to early career information professionals to show their work and keep the professional conversation going. So that is why I have this blog. This space is as much for me as it is for my peers. Sharing our work is sometimes a matter of confidence. But we do work on things, implement things, reflect on things, attend things. If we pool these conversations together, let sparks fly I say.

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