Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Thing 23: Reflection - What next?

CPD23 Worldle - Compiled from the CPD23 blog.

I started off Thing 23 all those weeks ago by taking part in my first Twitter chat as part of #UKlibchat. The summary of that discussion can be found on the UKLibChat blog.

Taking part in CPD23 was part of a wider goal to gain Acilip certification status. Which was part of a wider goal to work towards raising my confidence to apply for an Msc in Electronic Communication and Publishing at the UCL. Which was part of a wider goal to find an amazing job working as an Information Officer in the third sector. Phew. So CPD23 was a small step on a much bigger journey and my end goal is already quite clearly defined. What CPD23 has done is perhaps changed my view of how I might get there. As part of Acilip, I've written a Personal Development Plan to address some of the weaknesses in my skillset. Whilst I'm not willing to share that, I will share part of my SWOT analysis.

Strengths

  • Enthusiastic about learning new skills and getting involved in the profession
  • Experience of working in public, academic, medical and government libraries
  • Flexible, with cross-transferable skills. Have worked in RM and KM as well as traditional library services.
  • I've been working in libraries for over 10 years, four of which are at 'professional level' despite not having a recognised qualification.

Weaknesses

  • I work part-time. Few opportunities for professional roles in a part-time capacity / child friendly working hours
  • My son needs stability and a move to an area with more jobs would be difficult to manage for our complex family needs
  • Undergrad diploma I obtained doesn't qualify me as a professional librarian
  • Current job is no longer classified as a 'professional role'. It was downgraded two years ago
  • Current employer does not support quest to gain certification / chartership status as a qualification is not required for the role
  • Current location / personal circumstances makes it difficult to access training events in London


Opportunities

  • I work part-time. Plenty of opportunity to gain new skills through volunteer work and study.
  • Transferable skills means I can work in allied roles - Project Management, University administration, etc.
  • New developments in my area including two plans for new local public libraries, a science park and a new hospital all of which may lead to new job vacancies.


Threats

  • Reorganisation within my own workplace means that my current position feels vulnerable to further change or loss. Position may be moved to a team outside of the library.
  • Few opportunities locally for jobs working in library and information management within university settings due to current climate.
  • Professional roles in public libraries in the area are scarce.

Writing a Personal Development Plan was challenging. I had to think creatively about how I could better use the resources I had in order to gain more experience, and tie it in with my current commitments and interest. The time spent on it was worth it though. I've now got one that is flexible and seems relevant rather than a tick-box exercise completed in order to make it through certification. I do see it as a living document and one that will need to change and adapt as I take on different roles and embrace new opportunities and discover new interests.

The final task?, A 6 word story to sum up my experience of CPD23. I can only apologise to Hemmingway when I offer my contribution...

Reflect on experience. Gain more knowledge.

Since starting CPD23 I have:

  • Joined Twitter
  • Started blogging
  • Worked with a life-coach
  • Identified a mentor within my workplace
  • Offered to volunteer for 'Voices for the Library' campaign.
  • Got more involved as an advocate for libraries
  • Swapped to Google Chrome to support my new Twitter habit
  • Joined a Networking Group at work to improve my contacts and skills
  • Overhauled my LinkedIn profile and set up an about.me page
  • Attended networking events in London
  • Embraced new web2.0 tools into my every day working life
  • Discovered online networks I wasn't previously unaware of
  • Found other bloggers that have shaped, formed and challenged my view of what it means to work in library and information.

That's quite a change for what seemed to be just a simple list of 23 things to do...

Thanks for reading. Blogging was one of the scariest aspects of taking part in CPD 23, and I'm glad to have made it through to the other side in one piece!

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