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#blogjune - Guest post by Megan Fitzgibbons - Finishing your library qualifications? Seize the day!

Source: Luftphilia (flickr)


Some librarianship students are graduating this semester (congrats!), and with this in mind, a colleague recently asked me to offer some advice to graduating students. Specifically, what did I wish someone told me as I was wrapping up my librarianship degree?

In thinking back, all that came to mind was what I wish I had NOT been told.

Like many, I was stressed out by not having any inkling of what career path that I wanted to follow and felt that I lacked the experience needed to get any kind of professional position. Friends and colleagues kept telling me “it will be all right” ; “it will all work out in the end.” That kind of vague reassurance was the LAST thing I wanted to hear in the throes of that stressful time.

But emerging professionals, take note: you do not need to leave your future to chance. The following thoughts might be helpful to make “it all work out”:

·         If you feel that you don’t have job-ready practical skills after graduating--you actually do. I was surprised to realise how much I had learned in library school that gave me the necessary knowledge and perspectives to be successful in my first job. Be confident that you are aware of the bigger picture and can pick up details later.
·         Put yourself “out there”, in person and on social media. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find the perfect opportunity without meeting people, being engaged in the profession, and finding your voice.
·         Very few people have straightforward career paths. Know yourself, but be open to whatever opportunities are thrown your way.

As the ever-on-point librarian Barbara Fister put it,
"Get good advising, try things that you feel ill-prepared to do, challenge yourself. Because those challenges will keep coming and you might as well get the hang of it. "

Fister, Barbara. (2015, March 5). "MLS Required" on Babel fish: A college librarian's take on technology (an Inside Higher Ed blog): https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library-babel-fish/mls-required.

Megan Fitzgibbons, Librarian

University of Western Australia

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