Guest Blogger

Boost Your Self-Confidence at #PLA2022

Each of the Career Self-Care Sessions offered at #PLA2022 Virtual encouraged learning from every situation and being positive as you move forward. As I complete my LIS degree and embark on a job search this spring, these were timely messages, but they are also applicable for anyone applying for a new position or seeking to grow in their career.

Erin Collier-Plummer spoke of managing imposter syndrome in the workplace – that persistent belief that maybe we don’t have the skills or competence necessary, despite evidence to the contrary.

Techniques for moving forward:

  • Be authentic/Be Present
  • Give up perfectionism – celebrate your skills and successes
  • Create support networks

Give yourself the credit for your achievements and don’t get stuck by being unwilling to try something new. Erin sums up the conversation by asking how will you feel if you don’t take the risk.

Sarah O’Shea asked the second question: So You Didn’t Get the Job, Now What? – based on both personal experience and professional research. There are reminders to give yourself time to be disappointed, then next steps for “getting off the floor” – including the all-important professional development (such as at conferences like PLA) and also getting outside the library world to do volunteer work, even being on a non-profit board.

I loved Sarah’s conclusion encouraging everyone to “Be like Ted” (the ever-popular Ted Lasso of course) who:

  • invests in relationships
  • makes others look and feel good
  • be open to professional development.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Melinda Sandkam (she/her) will complete the MSIS program at University of Tennessee this May. She attended the last in-person ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, January 2020, but sadly missed out on PLA in Nashville. She has enjoyed attending many conferences, webinars and symposiums online in past two years. As Melinda pursues a job in Outreach Librarianship, she looks forward to attending future conferences in person, but this time around is excited to enjoy her first PLA virtually. Melinda hopes that library associations will continue to offer virtual options moving forward in order to make them accessible to all. Whether in-person or virtual, dark chocolate is an essential snack for making it through a conference day!

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