When thinking of how you want to use your MLIS degree, one approach to self assessment is to think in terms of…
- Functions: What are those things I most like to do in a job (e.g. solving problems; writing; working with numbers, machines or data; analyzing documents; providing customer service; helping people)? What activities do I truly enjoy? What classes and subjects have been my favorites and why? Which work experiences have I enjoyed the most and why?
- People: Who will I be supporting? How do I want to interact with people? What kinds of people (e.g., youth, children, students, working adults, seniors) do I like to work with as colleagues or clients? Do I prefer to work mostly with people or do I prefer working mostly by myself?
- Setting: Where do I see myself working? Is it a quiet environment or a busy hectic setting? Is the work always changing or predictable? Do I prefer to work more with machines and technology or with people? Do I want a work setting that is academic or corporate, highly-structured or more informal?
Your answers are a way to help you look for patterns, themes, and relationships between your preferences for the functions, people, and setting you desire for your work environment. They are clues to the types of LIS courses and the career direction you will excel in. Remember: you will experience the greatest job satisfaction when you are doing what you like to do, what you can do well, and when you are working with others who share similar interests.
Where your answers in these 3 areas intersect should be the main focus for you in your course choices and the main focus for you when considering career directions in the LIS field.
Take time with this process. Sit with it for a while and think. It is a good idea to go over your answers to the questions above with people who know you well to see if they agree, or to learn how and why they might have answered the questions about you differently.
Still feeling confused? The SJSU Career Center has compiled a page of Self Assessment Resources with exercises and inventories that you can complete to help you narrow down your key skills, strengths, personality preferences, and interests.
Have you explored the iSchool's Advising site? This might be a good time to use the tools available there to help you think about and plan for your future. You can also contact Faculty Content Specialists to discuss career pathways, course planning, career environments, and much more.