Cast Your Net Far and Wide

Career Blog

Published: August 23, 2016 by Jill Klees

As a new student, it is wise to be thinking ahead and starting to take steps that can help you with your future job search.

A new student inquired about job prospects when he completes his MLIS because he lives in a relatively small town and so he is already thinking and planning ahead.

My advice: Cast your job search net far and wide. When you limit yourself, you limit your options.

As a new student, it is wise to be thinking ahead and starting to take steps that can help you with your future job search. Here are my top 4 steps to consider:

Step 1: Identify all of the potential organizations in your commutable geographic area where your MLIS will be a selling point. Think BIG! Consider large and small academic and public institutions; city and county offices; historical sites and museums; and tech organizations. Continue to add to the list as you learn more about the LIS profession.

Step 2: Start informational interviewing with people in your community doing the type of work you find interesting. Ask A LOT of questions and not just about what they do, but how they got started, what they see as job prospects for a new MLIS graduate in your community, and ask for recommendations of other people to talk with. This is the best way for you to understand your future job prospects and the best way to develop your network. Networking will serve you well in your job search.

Step 3: Volunteer in an organization that can use your MLIS knowledge. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone or do something you hadn’t consider before. This is a great way to gain experience, reality test employment options, and build your network.

Step 4: When it is time to conduct your post-MLIS job search, be open to considering relocation as a viable option. Most often people cross this option right off of their list without giving it a fair shot. Think hard about relocating and talk it over with other decision makers in your life. Take a look at our annual Emerging Trends Report to do an environmental scan of the LIS world to see what’s happening, where it is happening, who’s hiring, and the top skills in-demand.

Remember: Always be open minded, flexible, willing to alter your ideal plans when needed, and cast your job search net far and wide.


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