When I completed my post-baccalaureate work in the spring semester of 2013, I sat down with my advisor and department head for an exit interview where we talked about the past, present, and future of my academic career and professional life. During the interview, he asked me where I saw myself in five years. It took me a minute or two to answer him; where did I see myself in five years?
My answer? I saw myself continuing to work in an academic library (either in reference, user engagement, or web services, all with instruction capabilities) with a healthy publishing history and contemplating or pursuing a Ph.D./advanced coursework in either history or information studies. This goal has not changed in the nine months since I let it first fly from my mouth.
As it stands, I am standing on the precipice of completing my MLIS coursework at UNC Greensboro and will graduate with the December 2014 cohort. I will have a key component in the arsenal my chosen career requires I have yet my storehouse of skills still has room to evolve. Given my predisposition for and desire to stay the world of academic librarianship, I realize that my focus within this five-year plan needs to address both developing needed skills and setting me apart from the “herd”.
I realize that I am indeed fortunate; I work in an academic library alongside a team of intelligent and talented librarians and professional staff and for an organization that encourages me to dive into projects and research. While working on this project, I talked to other librarians at work to get their input on important skills and experiences that will aid in reaching my overarching goals. This plan weaves both a determination to improve my skills as a librarian and researcher with a healthy dose of their advice and my own ambition. I am, to borrow a line from a favorite song, on the verge of something wonderful and I cannot wait to achieve these goals through hard work and determination.
Click here for my updated Professional Growth Plan.