Sunday, March 30, 2008

Professional development OD

OMG, was my last post really at the beginning of February? I'm sorry.

So the theme of today's post is my realisation that I'm overdosing on professional development. I don't remember anyone warning me of this, but it must be common given how many overachieving librarians I know. This isn't the same as the information overload that I've ranted about before, but it's not unrelated.

Something that I've always struggled with, personally and professionally, is that I find it very, very difficult to let opportunities slip by. This has worked well for me in some cases - it was great when I had to promote an obscure and strange little library, and wasn't sure how to do so - but it also means that sometimes I grab a hold of too many things. And I'm finally admitting now that I've grabbed a hold of too many things.

I'm really enjoying my study. The first subject for my MBA, organisational behaviour, has been really interesting, and I'm 2/3 of the way through. I finished and submitted my major assignment today, which I'm really proud of, and I'm also really proud of the fact that I'm enjoying studying and I've not yet gone mad.

Work on the ALIA New Generation Advisory Committee is getting really interesting. We're getting into some meaty discussions, and we should soon be welcoming some new members. There are some big issues coming ahead, and if my application to have my term renewed is successful (it had better be!) I'll be on the committee during the IFLA conference in 2010 in Brisbane, and we're trying to find a way to make the new grad cause a big one there. So, lots of opportunities there.

Then there's the paper for ALA, and the call for papers for NLS4 closes in a few days. I have a paper idea, the abstract is almost written, all I have to do now is decide that I really want to do it...

So I happened to look at how many points all this would get me in my ALIA Professional Development scheme, and it occurred to me that I may have overdone things a little. I'm really set for the next few years with points...this may be why I'm having problems doing things like keeping up with the blogging. So today I think I'm going to make a decision - I don't think I'm going to submit my paper for NLS4. If any of the NLS4 committee are reading this, I do apologise, and I'll certainly be at the event, but I'd love to have the brain space to enjoy it as a punter, and blog about it, and even represent NGAC there, rather than spend the whole time stressing about the fact that I have a paper to present.

I'm struggling to come to terms with this. To come to terms with the idea that I may not be up to speed with the latest trends, that I may not be able to get involved in the latest debate, and that I may watch an opportunity pass by. I guess it's just not realistic to think I can grab them all, and I need to be selective, and I need to make sacrifices.

So, for the future, here's what I'd like to be doing:
  • The MBA - important, and expensive, so I need to dedicate time to it!
  • NGAC - again, I think it's important, and I do want to keep my hand in, so to speak
  • Blogging - yes folks, I really do want to be doing this, so I'm not doing all the above stuff in isolation
  • Reading other blogs - so my blog makes sense and works in context.
  • Reading more professional literature - now I'm a student again, I get access to databases. Yay!
  • Working out how NGAC can play a role in the IFLA 2010 event

What I'm not going to be doing:

  • Submitting a paper to every conference I possibly can.
  • Spend hours worrying about not having ever even looked at Second Life. By the time I get around to it it'll be gone anyway - or is it already over?
  • Feeling guilty when I don't update my blog. This is for me, right? So why punish myself?
  • Thinking I should volunteer for the Special Libraries Association. One association at a time may just be enough.
  • Volunteering beyond my NGAC role for IFLA 2010

How does that sound? Reasonable? If I'm very, very lucky, one of these days I may even have some spare time to give to an unexpected opportunity...

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