Career development for information professionals

This week, Aslib's new Business Information Community of Practice (BICOP) held its inaugural meeting at London's City Business Library.  Attendees heard from Goretti Considine, Business Librarian at the City Business Library, about zero budget marketing (blogged by Business Information Review here) and from Jeremy Clarke, of Sue Hill Recruitment, who spoke engagingly about how information professionals can manage their career progression.Some key lessons from Jeremy:

  • If you are concerned with job security, you should focus on your employability and not your employer
  • Keep an eye on the roles being advertised and analyse the skills requirements
  • Take time out to review your skills, identify skills gaps and to create a personal development plan
  • Some senior level competencies are invaluable, whatever your sector.  These include:
    • Diplomacy and political sensitivity
    • Financial literacy and financial management skills
    • Good line management capability
    • Leadership skills -becoming a ‘go-to' person in your organisation
    • Network, network, network!
    • Make sure you understand how your team/department budget works and how you fit into the overall structure of the organisation
    • Keep a record of achievements, compliments and positive customer feedback(someone in the room referred to this as a ‘brag file')
There are so many skills development routes open to us.  A quick hands-up vote revealed many people in the room had mentors, often from outside the information profession.  Acting as a mentor can also be a great means of personal development.  Attending, speaking at - or even organising- learning networks such as BICOP are invaluable too.The attendees at BICOP certainly demonstrated high levels of competence when it came to networking.  The room was buzzing with conversations and it seems that there is still a high demand for business focused networking opportunities.  You can read more about BICOP here.