Category Archives: Career Advancement

Soft Skills Can Show Up Everywhere!

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Hello Everyone and Happy Summer! 

Like many of you, I have recently returned from ALA’s Annual Conference.  As the career coach at ALA’s conferences, I have the privilege of meeting with many of you and assisting with career guidance.

This month, I thought it would be helpful to share some of the questions that library workers asked me about during our career counseling sessions at the Conference.  First, I believe that sharing these questions will give Read the rest

What to Do After a Bad Interview

Congratulations! You got the interview! How exciting. Your foot is in the door. Now what? As thrilling as this can be, it can also be a bit scary. Once you arrive for the interview, do you begin to lose confidence? Do you start to question yourself and your abilities? Do you worry that you did not do enough research on the library? Do you rehearse in your mind answers to the questions you know they will ask? Sometimes you can Read the rest

How Much Time Do You Waste at Work Each Day?

How do you spend most of your time at work? Do you put out fires all day long? Do you respond to emails for a large portion of your day? Are you in meetings? Do you spend time chatting with co-workers who just stop by? Do you often feel like you’re not getting much accomplished because of other people’s demands on your time? If you said yes, you’re not alone. The number of distractions and interruptions we experience in any Read the rest

Four Things for New Graduates to Consider Before Accepting Your First Job

New graduates usually experience excitement as they shake the hand of university presidents and pick up their diplomas. They eagerly (and sometimes anxiously) anticipate starting new careers. But this sentiment can quickly turn to discouragement with the realization that launching the perfect career is not as easy as you may have thought. If you didn’t begin your job search months before graduation, you might be in for a rude awakening. A successful job search can take months. If you’re not Read the rest

How to Work for a Boss Who Has Unrealistic Expectations

Every manager occasionally has unrealistic expectations. But some supervisors are unrealistic most of the time. Perhaps they don’t consider the facts or limitations of projects. Or maybe they habitually refer to their past experiences at other libraries/organizations rather than to the people and events in the current workplace environment. When you work for someone like this, you can feel like you’re being set up to fail. You may have relevant data or experience that suggests your boss ought to consider Read the rest

It’s OK to Say No to a Promotion

Last week I attended a women’s conference. One of the speakers focused her presentation on a recent study on women CEOs. She gave quite a bit of statistics related to the characteristics of female CEOs. As I sat listening to the speaker, I realized that I was not fully engaged. I was thinking to myself, “This session should have been an elective.” I did not feel that the information was relevant to the full audience. Later, while discussing the session Read the rest

Empathy: Tips for Improving Workplace Interactions

With so much going on in our own lives (e.g. taking care of sick family members, being assigned new projects, etc.), at times it can be difficult to have empathy for other people. What is empathy? It is the ability to understand the feelings, emotions, thoughts and attitudes of others. It means showing compassion. Learning to be empathetic involves being an active listener, looking at situations from another person’s point of view and taking their concerns into consideration. The author Read the rest

Preparing to Move into a Management Role

If you want to move into a management position but don’t feel quite prepared to do so, consider taking one of the following courses. Both are online, asynchronous courses which last six weeks. They will help you gain knowledge and skills to propel your career forward.

The first course entitled Organization and Personnel Administration, is designed to help build your knowledge and skill level so that you have the confidence needed to be successful in a human resource and Read the rest

Get Ready for a New Series of Career Ideas to Spark Your Own Growth!

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Hello and welcome to the start of our new series in the Library Worklife Newsletter!  Over this past year, we focused on interviews with different library workers around the country to get a closer look at the daily lives of library professionals as they pursued work that truly makes a difference.  (If you missed any of these interviews, you can check them out on the archives at  During this past year we also looked Read the rest

4 Things You Won’t Know About Working on a Cross-Functional Team Until You Do It

Some time in your career you will undoubtedly be asked to serve on a cross-functional team. You may know some of the people on the team. Others may be unfamiliar to you. Working on a cross-functional team isn’t always easy. It requires cooperation and a willingness for members to volunteer for specific projects. It may be helpful to understand each person’s work-style and reason or purpose for being on the team.  There are benefits to working on this type of Read the rest