If you are currently in an academic program and looking forward to a professional position OR you are in your first professional position, there are two points to keep in mind:
- Many employers will immediate teach a new employee specific skills for that work environment. Rather than being frustrated at this, recognize this as an opportunity to learn more. If what you are being taught is different than what you learned in your academic program, judge neither as being wrong but rather as being options to carry with you into the future.
- Employers will want you to continue to learn, whether that employer is able to fund that activity for you or not. You will need to identify - perhaps with input from your boss and your colleagues - what you need to learn and the best way to learn it. It is then up to you to pursue that learning whether it is through reading, podcasts, webinars, seminars, workshops, conferences, or academic classes.
In terms of professional development, I have written several blog posts on attending conferences. Those tips can be applied to many different professional development situations. I also have a post on reading and listening recommendations for MSLIS students.
By the way, if you are still in school, your academic program should teach you - implicitly or explicitly - how to be a lifelong learner. If it isn't obvious to you how your academic program is doing (or did do) that, ask.
Previous posts in this series:
- Upping Your Library Intelligence: An Area You Need To Focus On
- Upping Your Library Intelligence: Words Matter
- Upping Your Library Intelligence: Reading, Listening, and Watching
- Upping Your Library Intelligence: Expanding and Tapping into the LIS Network
- Upping Your Library Intelligence: Get Digital
- Upping Your Library Intelligence: Put in the Time
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