The past year for me has been a journey. I started my own consulting business, worked with a number of clients, and expanded my professional network substantially. I also shared some of the lessons I learned from working as a self-employed archivist. Here are some of my most popular posts on my career advice.
I want to raise the profile of archivists and ensure that they are supported by their organizations and by an informed public that appreciates the value of their service. The vitality and growth of the field depends upon positioning professionals to be confident voices in a dynamic information environment.
Feedback provides information and advice. It’s offered in a variety of settings, such as part of your supervision, during presentations at conferences, while teaching, or when working as part of a team. Whatever the environment, feedback is a highly productive way of developing yourself and your skills.
If you’re looking for a new job or happily employed, there are moments in your professional life when you feel immobile, despite your best efforts. Here are a few pointers for getting unstuck.
Rudy Ray Moore has been called “the Godfather of Rap,” and is best known as Dolemite, the lead character of the 1975 film Dolemite, and its sequels, The Human Tornado and The Return of Dolemite. He was one of the greatest blaxploitation stars, highly influencing comedians such as Red Foxx and Richard Pryor and rappers like Snoop Dogg.
The best career guidance I’ve encountered derives from an unlikely source, a record I purchased at Extreme Noise in Minneapolis when I was 16:
You must learn to live with your own conscience, your own morality, your own decision, your own self. You alone can do it. There is no authority but yourself.
The conclusion to the fifth studio album by seminal British anarchist punk band Crass urges listeners to take up the challenge of personal responsibility. The exhaustion of vocalist Eve Libertine’s delivery emphasizes the message’s sincerity. I’ve often thought about this mantra as it pertains to the LIS field.
Sheryl Sandberg’s advice that we should “lean in” is garbage. All leaning in does is make you perform more work which most likely will not be recognized.
My favorite movie is Goodfellas. It’s brilliant, and I feel compelled to watch it anytime it's on TV, even though I've watched it many times. The film is filled with great scenes, but one has been surprisingly the most helpful in my personal and professional life.
In a perfect world, no one would care what you wear. The quality of your work would determine what they think of you. Unfortunately, people really do judge books by their cover. This is true of people who make decisions to hire you, especially if you do knowledge work. As a consultant, I am compelled to dress well so that my clients feel like they have invested in quality.
The purpose of this post is to help women create the best packaging for themselves with the least amount of time and money so that they shine. It’s hard to find affordable, high quality, modest, and professional clothing for women. I wish there was a female équivalant to the Men’s Wearhouse where you could walk in, buy suits on sale, and get them tailored instantly. Josephine A. Banks, where are you?
To feel prepared and vibrant for work, for school, and for life, we need to take time for ourselves before we start taking care of others. Caring for ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally can help anchor us in the present moment. This means we bring our best self to work each day.
Archival power couple Geof Huth and Karen Trivette interviewed me on the podcast An Archivist's Tale.
In the interview, we discussed how my life changed dramatically and how I became empowered by learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. "Bravery is Impossible Without Terror" is the title. It's apt!
I'm excited to serve on SLA's Emergency Preparedness & Recovery Advisory Council (EPRAC). I've included our call for panelists below. Do you know anyone interested in sharing their stories with fellow information professionals? If you have any questions, please leave comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best thing you can do for your career is to write. Whatever your profession, there are opportunities to share your experiences, offer tips and tricks, and promote yourself through words. Writing is also an excellent way to brand yourself online, especially if you are looking for a new job or changing careers.
I'm so excited to guest-edit an upcoming issue of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals. I've included our CFP below. If you have any questions, please leave comments or email me at email@example.com.
Working for yourself is an exciting, fulfilling, and (at times) terrifying experience.
Most of us have spent careers working for someone else, which makes the transition to solo work difficult. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far to help me survive and thrive with self-employment.
Earlier this week, my friend Tom Nielsen and I presented a session, You and Your Career, at the Special Libraries Association annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona. In the workshop, we discussed the myriad of ways in which LIS students and early career professionals can take their careers to the next level. The goal of the class is to prepare current and future information professionals by:
- increasing self-awareness and understanding of their preferences
- improving their knowledge of professional workplace skills
- developing an understanding of the many ways to engage professionally within the field
It's been about a year since I was laid off. When I think back over the past 12 months, I've realized that the event was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Let me share with you what I learned.
If you are a records manager (especially in the New York City area), I'd love to get to know you better.
Throughout my career, I’ve gone on plenty of interviews, especially for organizations looking to hire an archivist. I’ve noticed a trend that needs to stop for the benefit of potential employees, as well as companies.
I became an archives and records management consultant, because I have a fire in my belly to have a positive impact on as many organizations and people as possible.
If you like archives, memory, and legacy as much as I do, you might consider signing up for my email list. Every few weeks I send out a newsletter with new articles and exclusive content for readers. It’s basically my way of keeping in touch with you and letting you know what’s going on. Your information is protected and I never spam.