Written by Esti Shay
Kim Dority headlined this year’s Spotlight on Your Career event, presenting strategies for transitioning to new job opportunities, inside or outside of the library industry. Ms. Dority is the founder of Dority & Associates, Inc., an information strategies company, and lectures at DU on alternative LIS career paths. Focusing on marketing LIS skills to those outside of the industry, Ms. Dority explained how professional equity – the combination of who you know, what you know, and what those around you know about you – can be sculpted and utilized to direct your career path and discover job opportunities. Attendees were provided with opportunities to network and discuss the class content before, during, and after the program.
Dority outlined six different avenues a librarian may take in searching for new job opportunities, focusing the discussion on two of them: doing LIS work for a new company in an industry unfamiliar with the LIS skills set, and finding a non-LIS job doing related work using transferable skills with either the same employer or a different employer in the same industry. To illustrate the breadth of these opportunities, Dority shared a list of 127 “Alternative LIS Job Titles,”[i] which she maintains on her website, infonista.com (http://bit.ly/12LzPAa). She encouraged attendees to send her suggestions of other job titles, as the list is continually evolving.
LinkedIn was a major topic of conversation and a valuable tool that Dority returned to again and again, with suggestions on how to use the site to enhance your network, improve your job-hunt, and marketing yourself widely. She called it “the introvert’s best friend for personal branding.” Yet, the presentation was pleasantly light on buzz words and full of useful suggestions for redirecting one’s career.
This program was sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Morgridge College of Education, and the AALL/Bloomberg Continuing Education Grants Program. In accordance with the grant’s requirements, the program was recorded and will be made available to AALL members. A copy of Kim Dority’s latest book, LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career, was donated by ABC-CLIO and raffled off for attendees.
If this topic piques your interest and you watch the recorded presentation, be sure to give the challenging Job Mapping Template exercise a try. The exercise, plus Dority’s recommendations for tone and focus, may help jumpstart efforts to draft the often-dreaded elevator speech.