Saturday, March 1, 2008

She shoots, she scores: goal setting

Goal setting is an important part of career management, especially if you are a rookie at the "managing" part. Currently, you probably have one enormous goal: get a library job. But you can break this goal into manageable steps, milestones, that will help you tackle the whole.
  • Tell your friends and classmates you are on the market. Some of them may not be there yet--a surprising number of people take a break to travel after graduating--or they may have decided to keep their marks up and not look for work until their exams are done. I, personally, think that is too late, but who am I to ask you to forgo the job postings they could pass your way?
  • Read job postings every day: flag your favourite sites and visit them when you are checking your email. Use RSS, vertical search engines, and load up your Google Reader.
  • Brush up on your interview skills: read some of the questions posted here, schedule a mock interview or work with your friends.
  • Is your resume perfect? Is it a resume or a CV that you need? Is your master CV ready?
  • Do your references know that you are looking for work? If not, give them a call and ask if it is ok that you still use them as a reference. Ask about their holiday plans, in case they will be away when you might need to reach them. Ask for a written reference if they will be in Italy when you are interviewing.
  • Go to a conference. There is usually a job centre there and you can meet with HR people directly, possibly completing the usual screening interview in advance.
  • Do some information interviews. Are you going to be a children's librarian, work in a law office or for the government? If you have not had your internship or worked in any of these types of libraries, how do you know what you are going to do? Do two information interviews with librarians who have careers you never thought of. Attend an "alternative careers" panel.
  • Read a career book. A business or library-oriented one or some of the columns from LisCareer, to stimulate your brain and learn new things about career planning. I want you to explore a topic you don't know much about, like BDI questions, networking or relocation.
  • Set some of your own goals. Use services like 43things to set your own goals or keep a job journal; this will help you answer the question, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Do one kind thing for someone else who is looking for a job. Pass on a job posting, be his interviewer for a mock interview, give her a hug if she just found out she didn't get the job after she felt really confident leaving the interview, take one of your friends to coffee at a conference. This is actually networking, better known as "friendship".
Try to break your massive get a job goal into bite-sized chunks; no one can eat the whole pie in one gulp.

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