Best Foot Forward: Making Your First Step into Management the Right Step

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Are you hoping to move up within your current organization, or looking elsewhere for your leap into
the manager role? This session will explore these two paths to management positions, from the perspective of two newly minted managers. We will discuss how to know if are ready to move into a management position, the pros and cons of staying/leaving your current organization as well as some best practices from our experiences navigating the transition period into management.

Tara Wong, Manager, Public Services, Regina Public Library and Alexandra Yarrow, A/Manager, Alternative Services, Ottawa Public Library

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Best Foot Forward: Making Your First Step into Management the Right Step

  1. 1. Best Foot Forward: Making Your First Step into Management the Right Step Tara Wong, Manager, Public Services, Regina Public Library Alexandra Yarrow, A/Manager, Alternative Services, Ottawa Public Library
  2. 2. Alex’s path ... • 1999-2004 at Westmount Public Library • 2004 M.L.I.S., McGill University • 2004 at Eleanor London Côte-St-Luc Library • 2005-2006 acting at Westmount Public Library • 2006-2009 at Rideau Branch, OPL • 2009-2010 at St. Laurent Branch, OPL • 2010-2011 at Rideau Branch, OPL • 2011 acting at Diversity & Accessibility, OPL • 2012-2013 at Carlingwood Branch, OPL • 2013 – present acting at Alternative Services, OPL
  3. 3. Learning experiences • Being raised by my parents • Not getting the job I wanted • Working for a supervisor I disagreed with • Starting over in a new city • Being “homeless” during Rideau’s renovations • Supervising a team of extroverts • Leading through change
  4. 4. Pros of moving up internally • Know the landscape • Know the players • Committed to the values of the organisation • Build on successes
  5. 5. Cons of moving up internally • Harder to take risks • Encumbered by how others see you • Baggage (yours and other people’s)
  6. 6. Tips • Have a vision • Eat your frogs • Coach, don’t catch, the big red ball • Better to ask now than later • Get to know the people you work with • Cultivate a support network • Find other friends!
  7. 7. Tara’s path ... • 2003 M.L.I.S., Dalhousie University • 2005 at Ottawa Public Library as ILS Librarian • 2006 at Ottawa Public Library as Supervising Librarian • 2010 at Ottawa Public Library as Coordinator • 2012 at Regina Public Library as Public Services Manager
  8. 8. Learning experiences • Winding path to librarianship • Supervisor what? • Always being a bad guy (change, change, change) • Working with amazing people • Having the world explode…regularly • So many ideas ………so little time
  9. 9. Pros of moving up externally • Clean Slate • Change is good • Different mentors • Exposure to a new culture
  10. 10. Cons of moving up externally • Re-building your reputation • Re-learning a corporate culture • Different puzzle pieces – will everything fit?
  11. 11. Tips • Don’t be afraid • You don’t have to be the expert. • Ask questions • Let go of the past • Find supporters • Find the right balance

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