MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF THE
EVER-CHANGING WORKPLACE:
how to future-proof your skills
Laura Woods, Research &
Information...
I am an imposter!
I am not...
A law librarian
A librarian
A knowledge manager
An information manager
...or am I?
Who am I?
Former law librarian
– Gray’s Inn 2007-08
– Davies Arnold Cooper 2009-11
– Addleshaw Goddard 2011-2012
Currently...
About Brake
Campaigning road safety charity
Supporting the victims
Campaigning for safer roads
Engaging with fleet and roa...
What I do at Brake
A bit of everything!
Keep on top of road safety research
Build a network of expert speakers/writers and...
Am I a librarian?
No! No resources to manage (print or
electronic), no information service either
internally or externally...
What “traditional” jobs do I do?
Abstracting and summarising
Evaluating information sources (CRAAP test)
Tracking down ope...
How did I get here?
Wanted to move to the charity sector
Traditional librarian jobs in charities are few and
far between
L...
Looking for jobs
Identified where to look
– Charityjob.co.uk, Guardian jobs page, notifications
from individual organisati...
Explaining myself at interview
My interviewers weren’t librarians...
...hadn’t hired librarians...
...and weren’t looking ...
Exercise: Taboo!
Explain your job without using these words...
Library
Journals
Databases
Subscriptions
Current
awareness
...
What skills can you bring?
The first step is knowing what you can do
How do your skills/experience match up to the
jobs yo...
Exercise: skills audit
Job role Skills Where developed?
Build a network of expert
speakers/writers
Networking
Knowledge ma...
Exercise: skills audit
What do you do in your job?
– E.g. Tracking legislation progress
What skills does this involve?
– E...
Developing your skills
What do you want to do vs what can you do
– What skills will you need for your next move?
Avenues f...
Finding your dream job
Different circumstances
– Are you actively looking?
– or just lost your job and need a new one quic...
In the job – proving yourself
How do you introduce yourself to colleagues?
– By your job title?
– By what you do?
How do y...
Exercise: Elevator pitch
Come up with a one-sentence “pitch” to explain
your role and your skills
Think about the Taboo ga...
My elevator pitches
I’m an expert in finding and evaluating
information, so we have the most accurate,
robust evidence on ...
In the job: finding new opportunities
Always look for where you can add value
What could be improved?
– E.g. Is your intra...
Sum up
Information professionals have a wide range of
skills
...but not everyone knows this!
Learn the organisation’s lang...
Any questions?
Laura Woods
@woodsiegirl
Laura.woods1984@gmail.com
http://www.slideshare.net/WoodsieGirl
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Meeting the challenges of the ever-changing workplace: how to future-proof your skills

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Presentation delivered at the BIALL conference in June 2014, on using transferable skills outside of the legal information sector.

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Meeting the challenges of the ever-changing workplace: how to future-proof your skills

  1. 1. MEETING THE CHALLENGES OF THE EVER-CHANGING WORKPLACE: how to future-proof your skills Laura Woods, Research & Information Officer, Brake @woodsiegirl #biall2014
  2. 2. I am an imposter! I am not... A law librarian A librarian A knowledge manager An information manager ...or am I?
  3. 3. Who am I? Former law librarian – Gray’s Inn 2007-08 – Davies Arnold Cooper 2009-11 – Addleshaw Goddard 2011-2012 Currently research and information officer for a small charity
  4. 4. About Brake Campaigning road safety charity Supporting the victims Campaigning for safer roads Engaging with fleet and road safety professionals
  5. 5. What I do at Brake A bit of everything! Keep on top of road safety research Build a network of expert speakers/writers and organisation case studies Research, write and edit guidance for employers, police, and support literature Talk to the media – written quotes and TV/radio interviews
  6. 6. Am I a librarian? No! No resources to manage (print or electronic), no information service either internally or externally. Yes! I am an information professional – I produce and disseminate information and connect others with the knowledge they need.
  7. 7. What “traditional” jobs do I do? Abstracting and summarising Evaluating information sources (CRAAP test) Tracking down open access publications Reference interviewing Web content management Organising and presenting information
  8. 8. How did I get here? Wanted to move to the charity sector Traditional librarian jobs in charities are few and far between Looked for jobs that would use my skills but weren’t considered librarian jobs
  9. 9. Looking for jobs Identified where to look – Charityjob.co.uk, Guardian jobs page, notifications from individual organisations Identified keywords for the jobs I wanted – Information, communication, research, content, editor, knowledge
  10. 10. Explaining myself at interview My interviewers weren’t librarians... ...hadn’t hired librarians... ...and weren’t looking to hire a librarian! I had to explain my skills and experience without any of the shorthand I was used to.
  11. 11. Exercise: Taboo! Explain your job without using these words... Library Journals Databases Subscriptions Current awareness Legislation Case law Enquiries Research
  12. 12. What skills can you bring? The first step is knowing what you can do How do your skills/experience match up to the jobs you want to do? Skills audit – look at what you do and what skills your job involves
  13. 13. Exercise: skills audit Job role Skills Where developed? Build a network of expert speakers/writers Networking Knowledge management Written and verbal communication Attending law firm practice group meetings Professional qualification Professional networking Research, write and edit guidance for fleets and support literature Writing and editing Summarising complex info Locating info from various sources Evaluating sources of info Professional qualification Summarising legal and business research Developing practice group specialisation Talk to the media Written and verbal communication Presentation skills Marketing Running training sessions Speaking at professional events Volunteering with professional bodies
  14. 14. Exercise: skills audit What do you do in your job? – E.g. Tracking legislation progress What skills does this involve? – E.g. Information literacy, knowledge of relevant sources, summarising and presenting information How did you develop these skills? – E.g. In work, in volunteering roles, from professional qualifications
  15. 15. Developing your skills What do you want to do vs what can you do – What skills will you need for your next move? Avenues for development – Can you develop within your current role? – Opportunities/funding for development? Soft skills vs hard skills – Do you need to know how to do specific tasks? (e.g. cataloguing) – Or do you need specific skills? (e.g. delivering training)
  16. 16. Finding your dream job Different circumstances – Are you actively looking? – or just lost your job and need a new one quickly? What do you really want to do? What are your priorities? – Job type – Organisation type – Hours – Location – Pay – Compromise?
  17. 17. In the job – proving yourself How do you introduce yourself to colleagues? – By your job title? – By what you do? How do you explain what you do?
  18. 18. Exercise: Elevator pitch Come up with a one-sentence “pitch” to explain your role and your skills Think about the Taboo game from earlier – try and avoid the same buzzwords!
  19. 19. My elevator pitches I’m an expert in finding and evaluating information, so we have the most accurate, robust evidence on which to base our work. I connect the people who know things with the people who need to know them. I’m immersed in road safety information so I know what information and developments we will need to act on.
  20. 20. In the job: finding new opportunities Always look for where you can add value What could be improved? – E.g. Is your intranet organised and structured efficiently? – Is knowledge capture happening? – Are information laws being followed? Don’t assume people will know to ask for your help – be nosey!
  21. 21. Sum up Information professionals have a wide range of skills ...but not everyone knows this! Learn the organisation’s language and explain what you do in their words Analyse your skills – you can do more than you think! Always look for opportunities to develop
  22. 22. Any questions? Laura Woods @woodsiegirl Laura.woods1984@gmail.com http://www.slideshare.net/WoodsieGirl
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