Looking back over the past year, my most popular posts here on Flight Path have centred on professional development planning and creating your own learning environments – all geared towards continuous learning and moving the career forward. Here are five posts that may help you get your next year off to a rolling start…
The LIS profession is constantly shifting, adapting and transforming in response to the role of information and technology in people’s lives and how the need for information, and in what medium or form, is changing. The profession moves rapidly and so we have to take a somewhat brief pause every now and then to ponder – what is the LIS profession and where do I fit? What is working or not working? What gaps or needs are not being met? Where does the LIS profession have a role in information needs, experiences and even outputs? Whatever your thoughts, take a quick stocktake of your skills and knowledge and adjust your professional development activities to work towards what you believe is needed and what you’re passionate about.
In this presentation, I break down the mystery around planning your professional development and outline some steps you may take to develop a plan of your own. A PD plan needn’t be complicated, nor jammed pack with high reaching goals or unreasonable demands on yourself and your time for doing PD activities. A couple of focus areas of where you need development can be all it takes to achieve goals and move your career and learning forward.
This post reflects on a time when I had to discuss my career with the big, big boss at my workplace. What prepared me? My professional development plan I had developed as part of my Professional Portfolio for my Masters. This post demonstrates that even a few notes tucked away can give you focus on what to speak about when an opportunity or a similar situation arises. Further to this, if you have performance reviews, performance planning and development, whatever the program is called at your workplace, a professional development plan can make the conversation with your manager a more productive one and takes your workplace on board with your development, making you and the workplace work together towards your goals.
All the thinking around the LIS profession and your place within it comes together here with the development of a career statement. Much like a mission statement, a career statement is a clear and concise couple of sentences that can help guide your professional development focus. I wrote a career statement as part of my PD plan and when I review my plan soon after the new year, the statement will help ensure my short-term goals and PD activities are aligned and work towards that mission. This post steps through a thought process and give reasons why you should have a career statement. Start developing one for the new year.
And, finally, check up on your personal learning environment with an audit.
I really need to do this myself. Engaging in professional conversation and filtering professional reading, keeping up with what’s happening, etc require a presence on a few different platforms and the use of some tools. Many come and go, and while as LIS professionals we should be diving in to try these different things, some just don’t mesh with our individual way of gathering, reading and disseminating information. That’s okay. Plus, professional development may become cumbersome or tiring because you’ve worn your attention and task too thin across different tools and platforms. Hone your focus on which channels work with you (not against you) by doing a quick audit and tweak your own learning environment for the new year.
Happy new year and all the best.