Three Key Career Moves from Tracy Z. Maleeff

Career Blog

Published: December 2, 2016 by Kate M. Spaulding

During the recent SLASC webcast, guest speaker Tracy Z. Maleeff shared smart insights and practical tips for a successful career.

About two weeks ago, I attended a presentation by Tracy Z. Maleeff put on by the iSchool Student Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLASC). In her talk, titled “Sharpening Career and Networking Skills for Fun and Profit,” Tracy covered a lot of ground. In past semesters, she’s spoken about the nuts and bolts of networking, but this time she focused more on communication and the introspective aspects of career building.

If you didn’t attend the Collaborate meeting in real time, I urge you to watch the recording via SLASC’s YouTube channel. Tracy spoke about more than I can cover here, and she has smart insights and practical tips to help you choose and maintain your career, communicate effectively, and participate in your professional community.

As I said, Tracy covered a lot of ground, but here are three takeaways that I’m still thinking about:

  1. Take time to think about your career (current or future) in terms of what you like to do and what makes you happy. Although you may not exactly know what the perfect fit will be, knowing your likes and dislikes will help steer your career ship.
    • Quotable quote: “Introspection will help you follow your bliss.”
  2. Think ahead. Unless and until you are irreplaceable, your job is not 100% secure, right? So work to keep yourself marketable. For example, consider what skills you might be missing and figure out how to get them, whether it’s by taking a class or a MOOC or a workshop. Did you apply for a job and get rejected? Any missing skills or qualifications should go on your professional development list.
    • Quotable quote: “Future proof your career.”
  3. Network, and network broadly. Networking is all about building relationships, and Tracy says that if it feels icky, then you’re not doing it right. So at events or online, be cordial and curious and build a diverse circle of professionals you trust. They can be your sounding board, and having a variety of contacts is a good thing.
    • Quotable quote: “Diversity of thought solves problems.”

You can find a recording on SLASC’s YouTube channel, and you can find Tracy on Twitter @LibrarySherpa and @InfoSecSherpa. I also encourage you to check out my interview with SLASC president Dana Lema to learn more about the organization, the benefits they offer, and how to join for free (I did!)

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