Published: January 25, 2021 by Jillian Collins
Finally – a new year! Rather than coming up with the usual new year’s resolutions, how about instead getting the year headed in a positive direction by doing deep-dive career reflection? Specifically, why not launch this year by taking the time to revisit the career passions you identified in your Career Self-Assessment to identify what’s changed. Or, if you haven’t yet had an opportunity to explore this valuable resource, perhaps now’s the time to jump in.
A Year in Review
When you look at your career options, you want to make sure that you are going to be doing something you love. That’s why the self-assessment tool (and the process of self-reflection) is so important. To recap, the Career Self-Assessment includes three areas for you to evaluate: functions, people, and setting. For example:
- Functions: what skills do you want as a primary role – problem solving, writing, etc.
- People: who do you see yourself working for, and whether you work best on your own, with others, or a combination of both.
- Setting: where you feel most productive, in a physical sense – for example, are you comfortable with rapidly changing tasks, or do you need structure.
Although these are really basic overviews of the three categories, their purpose is to help you center yourself when looking at positions, working out academic/career choices, to make the dream job a career reality. The better you know your preferences (with the caveat that they may change as you grow in your knowledge of the LIS profession), the easier it will be for you to identify and eventually achieve your “best fit” information career.
Re-evaluating Your Career Self-Assessment
Remember that the Career Self-Assessment is for you. It’s a reflection of your skills and accomplishments, which you’ve probably expanded this past year. Maybe you need to add in a new experience that changed your perspective. Maybe you need to edit the type of work you like. To get you started:
- Was there a moment that motivated you to explore a topic you may not have considered?
- Have you connected with someone in your network that you see as a mentor? Have you become a mentor?
As a lot of folks are under stay-at-home orders, your ‘setting’ may require some creativity. To do that, I recommend you look at the digital experiences you had:
- Do you like applications such as Zoom, and do you prefer to use video chat or audio chat?
- Do you prefer to stay off the screen of others, and use email or other written correspondence as method of communication?
- Have you had enough screen time, and find yourself breaking up chunks of your day for other things?
- Have you become more involved in obligations, requiring you to consider digital work a part of the priority pyramid?
‘Setting’ is difficult to conceptualize now. But think of how you adapted to a world where staying safe means staying in one place. You made a lot of sacrifices. What did you gain in terms of self-knowledge and a perhaps new understanding of work preferences from this pivoted reality?
Give Yourself Credit
You need to be proud of how far you managed to accomplish (or survive!) this past year. With the global pandemic at the front of everyone’s experiences in 2020, it’s understandable that making time for your personal career goals may have been sidelined along with lots of other priorities. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve gotten lost. Now’s a great time to re-start your career goals by checking in with your Career Self-Assessment.
Resolutions can be forgotten, but achievements are what define your direction; the important takeaway is to use your reactions to drive action. My guess is that if you compare where you are now with who and where you were 365 days ago, you’ll be pretty impressed.
Quick Jot from Jillian
I reviewed my 2020 Career Self-Assessment. I wrote down: “This is a sample of my life, and how I feel as of January 2020. I have just started the MLIS program.”
It’s 2021 now. And I’ll be honest: updating my Career Self-Assessment wasn’t easy. That’s why it’s so important to look at accomplishments. My approach this time was personal and pragmatic.
My work here on the Career Blog allows me to explore topics that help others; the opportunity to have mentorship and be a mentor myself (in a way). I am more than what I thought I could be.
I already see where I adjusted. How I revised my career path then was based on experiences during the year. Who I met and how they changed my perspectives. In hindsight, 2020 was a year of personal success. And evidence that my 2021 can only benefit from that focus.
Selected Career Opportunities
- Information Governance Technical Analyst. Latham & Watkins LLP (Los Angeles, CA). Remote. Apply on Latham & Watkins, LLP website
- Social Sector Librarian. Candid (Manhattan, NY). Temporarily remote. Apply on company site
Mark Your Calendar!
Meet & Greet with iSchool Student Groups
- Date: Thursday, February 11, 2021
- Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Location: Register here to attend this Zoom event
Shameless Self-Promotion: Selling yourself in the age of a pandemic hosted by SLASC
- Date: Monday, February 8, 2021
- Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Location: Email [email protected] to attend this Zoom event