Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Thing 23: What next?

I have to admit I haven't put together a PPDP on the back of this programme, but that is only because I already have one as part of the Chartership process. I also have something very similar as part of the appraisal process at work and I don't feel that writing this down for the third time is really a very useful exercise. However, this programme has certainly made me think about the kinds of development needs I have included (or missed out) and how achievable it is. I think I focused far to much on 'traditional librarian skills' such as cataloguing without really thinking about how on earth I was going to fit it into a job that just doesn't require those skills from me. Given the huge opportunity my job provides to improve on skills in other areas, it seems silly to put pressure on myself to learn something like cataloguing. Previously I felt like this was something I really needed to know right now, but I think that this programme has opened my eyes to all the other aspects of librarianship. There are so many things that are within my reach that I can improve on or even learn from scratch that will be more useful to me right now. I'm not so worried now about having gaps in my knowledge. I'm content just to know that it is within my abilities to fill those gaps if need be. Gradually I will close those gaps, but for now, I will focus on those skills that are more achievable and more useful.
So I may not have written a new PPDP, but I will be adding to my current one and worrying less about those items that I'm just not getting to.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Thing 22: Volunteering to gain experience

Q: 'Have you considered working for free to gain experience?'
A: Yes. In fact this is still something I'd really like to do but unfortunately time constraints make this nearly impossible.
I see volunteering (in the right role) as a great opportunity to gain skills and get experience in sectors where I would be unlikely to get a paid job due to lack of experience. I am particularly attracted to the idea of project work and getting to create something tangible.
I have been keeping an eye out for a volunteering opportunity for some time now, as I know that in my current job (as is the case with every job)there will always be certain skills I won't have as much chance to develop as others. The only problem is that I work full time, and do an additional 2 hours a week paid work at another library. Add to that the fact that the days I work in my full time job are on a 2 week timetable, and so I don't have the same days off each week and it becomes virtually impossible to fit anything in!
For now I'll just keep my fingers crossed that I'll manage to find something.

Thing 21: Promoting yourself in job applications and at interview

This 'Thing' was really useful, as it came just at the time that I was updating my CV to include in my Chartership portfolio. There was some good advice on building a CV and preparing for job interviews and I especially liked the link to Open Cover Letters link. Writing cover letters has always been something I struggle with as I feel really uncomfortable "selling myself" but it is always so much easier when you can see how other people have done it.
In terms of offering advice myself, the one thing that always lets me down in interviews and that I therefore always try to prepare ahead for is the terrifying 'Do you have any questions you would like to ask us?' question. It's really important to use this opportunity but I can never think of anything to ask! I always used to go into an interview with several questions to ask and somehow these seem to get answered in the natural course of the interview, leaving me frantically trying to think of other questions to ask. Now I try to make sure to have a variety of questions up my sleeve and keep my fingers crossed that they will still be relevant at the end of the interview!