April 30, 2011 1 2011 CALA Southeast ChapterAnnual ConferenceAchieving Career Goals:Issues & Strategies Hwa-Wei Lee Former Chief, Asian Division, Library of Congress Dean Emeritus, Ohio University Libraries firstname.lastname@example.org
April 30, 2011 2 Importance of Having Goals “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”
Be measurable. Have a target in mind so you know when you have reached your goals.
Be foresighted with some degree of risk taking.
Be under your control. Set your own goals based on your values, interests, and desires.
April 30, 2011 4 Setting Career Goals Stay focused on your objectives. Decide what is important for you to achieve in your life. Be in control of where you want to go. Motivate yourself to achievement – both long-term vision and short-term motivation. Help you to focus your acquisition of knowledge and to organize your resources. Increase your self-confidence as you develop your level of competence in achieving your goals.
April 30, 2011 5 Planning to achieve goals Assess your own abilities: Know your own strengths and weaknesses. Develop your core competencies. Conduct an environmental scan: Have a clear understanding of the opportunities and threats. Go for the opportunities. Breakthrough the “Glass Ceiling”.
April 30, 2011 6 Overcoming barriers (3-1) What is a “glass ceiling”? The barriers that often confront ethnic Americans and women in trying to reach the upper echelons of any organization. According to a 1995 study commissioned by the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, 97% of the senior managers of the Fortune 1000 Industrial and Fortune 500 were white, and 95-97% were male. This was occurring while 57% of the workforce was either ethnic minorities, women, or both.
Overcoming barriers (3-2) America’s core value – “Equal Opportunity” – However, according to a published report of the Washington Post on Sept. 6, 2006: Asian Americans have the least opportunity to enter management and the slowest rate of progress towards equal employment opportunity, despite having the highest educational attainment. Source: www.80-20educational foundation.org April 30, 2011 7
April 30, 2011 8 Overcoming barriers (3-3) Is there a “glass ceiling” in your workplace which may prevent you from reaching your goals? What is your experience in your library? What can you do about it? How can you translate your strong educational qualifications into higher managerial positions?
April 30, 2011 9 Overcoming barriers (3-4) Considers the following actions: Realize that you cannot be equal – you must be better than your competitors for promotions. Change the perception that Asians are not “leadership materials.” Look to advance your career with a library that values workforce diversity. If you have a lot invested, stay and fight. Remember: Unequal pay and opportunity for promotions is discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
April 30, 2011 10 Diversity in the workplace Diversity is not only a matter of race and national origin, but of cultures, age, gender, lifestyles, generational differences, ethnic heritage, sexual orientation, multilingualism, and more. For Chinese Americans, the difficulties encountered by the first generation of immigrants may be different from the second generation.
April 30, 2011 11 Racial stereotypes Professor Frank H. Wu, an American born law school professor and the author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White (Basic Books, 2002), spoke about his own experience in fighting against racial stereotypes. Wu realized at an early age that he was different from his classmates, and he blamed it on his parents. “I was Chinese because they were Chinese,” said Wu. In turn, they blamed him for not trying harder to fit in. “It was neither of our faults,” said Wu. “We didn’t bring about these forms of discrimination and bias.”
April 30, 2011 12 Different cultural values Wu also learned early that some of the Asian values his parents tried to instill in him “may not have been the best for their American-born children.” For example, the virtues of humility, not calling attention to oneself or claiming credit for a job well done, which are highly valued by Asian culture, run contrary to what it takes to be successful in American society. The Asian proverb – “The nail that sticks up is pounded down” is in sharp contrast to the American adage – “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
Challenges to Chinese American Librarians Old stereotype library positions held. Limited upward mobility and the “Glass Ceiling” effect. Language barrier and culture difference. Bias against overachieving Asian Americans. Pros and cons on “Affirmative Action.” Lack of unity among Asian Americans. More comfortable to work alone. Lack of participation in group activities. April 30, 2011 13
April 30, 2011 14 Diversity Among Library Workers According to the 2010 population census there were 14.67 million Asian Americans, or roughly 4.8% of the U.S. population. It was an increase of 43.3% from 2000 census (from 10.24 million). 4 million of them were Chinese, or roughly 1.2% of the U.S. population.
April 30, 2011 16 Diversity in U.S. ARL Univ. Libraries In U.S. ARL libraries, 85.7% of the professional staff were Caucasians and 14.3% were minorities – 6.4% were Asian/Pacific Islanders, 4.6% were blacks or African Americans, 2.8% were Latinos or Hispanics, and 0.5% were American Indian/Alaskan natives. The number of minorities in managerial or administrative positions in the largest U.S. academic libraries was far lower: 6.1% were directors, 6.3% were associate directors, 5.3% were assistant directors, and 9.4% were branch librarians. Source: ARL Annual Salary Survey, 2009-2010. Complied by Martha Kyrillidou & Les Bland. Washington, DC: ARL, 2010. http://www.arl.org/bm-doc/ss09.pdf
April 30, 2011 17 Developing Core Competencies Communication skills Interpersonal skills Analytical skills Leadership skills Personal characteristics Source: Internal discussion by a special task force within the Library of Congress (2006)
April 30, 2011 18 Communication skills (2-1) Target communication: Be clear, respectful, and with confidence. Target the amount, style, and content of messages to the needs of the audience. Handle and resolve questions and contrary opinions in a positive and constructive manner. Balance knowledge sharing with issues of confidentiality. Value the opinions of others by employing active listening techniques with appropriate feedback.
April 30, 2011 19 Communication skills (2-2) Write with purpose: Write clear, concise, and well-organized documents/reports. Target the amount, form, depth, timing, level of details, and content to meet the needs of the audience. Express facts and ideas in a way that engages or informs audience.
April 30, 2011 20 Interpersonal skills Build and maintain relationships: Develop and maintain positive professional relationship with others. Be approachable and take time to address employees’ work-related needs. Gain support for own and others’ ideas and opinions to achieve organizational goals.
April 30, 2011 21 Analytical skills (2-1) Foster continuous improvement: Develop innovative ideas and new ways of thinking and performing work. Act resourcefully to meet challenges. Determine the critical issues, targets and root cause of problems, and generate solutions. Initiate, implement, and monitor effective operating procedures.
April 30, 2011 22 Analytical skills (2-2) Act decisively: Exercise good judgment by making sound and well-informed decisions. Proactively recognize and analyze problems. Make effective and timely decisions. Be proactive and results oriented.
April 30, 2011 23 Leadership skills (6-1) Motivate performance Lead others Manage conflict Embrace diversity/diverse thinking Thinking systemically
April 30, 2011 24 Leadership skills (6-2) Motivate performance: Display enthusiasm and professional commitment. Pursue excellence for self and organization. Take responsibility for work to ensure that it is accurate, efficient, and timely. Evaluate and address reasons for success and failure. Follow the organization’s performance goals and objectives. Maintain focus on productivity and results.
April 30, 2011 25 Leadership skills (6-3) Lead others: Supervise staff performance, including setting goals and objectives. Provide regular, constructive feedback and coaching. Incorporate the active participation of employees in planning and decision making. Promote team work. Identify and recognize staff skills and abilities. Provide opportunities for career development. Ensure appropriate delegation of tasks.
April 30, 2011 26 Leadership skills (6-4) Manage conflict: Proactively manage and resolve conflicts and disagreements. Identify ways conflict can lead to positive change. Take appropriate action to address conflict following library policies.
April 30, 2011 27 Leadership skills (6-5) Embrace diversity/diverse thinking: Create an environment where differences and similarities are encouraged. Hold self and others accountable for behaviors that foster a respectful workforce. Respect the diverse capabilities and perspectives of all individuals.
April 30, 2011 28 Leadership skills (6-6) Thinking systemically: Articulate the mission, goals and objectives of the department/team and how the work fits into them. Prioritize and plan work that contributes to the success of the department/team. Work together with other departments and teams to accomplish the goals of the Library.
April 30, 2011 29 Personal characteristics (2-1) Foster integrity/honesty: Create an environment of trust and confidence. Build high standards of ethics. Behave in a fair and ethical manner. Demonstrate responsibility to the Library and the public.
April 30, 2011 30 Personal characteristics (2-2) Promote a service orientation: Provide and promote the quality of services essential to high performance. Assist others in acquiring the skills and tools they need to perform well. Inspire service and meaningful contributions to the Library.
Be All You Can Be “Destiny is not a matter of chance, It is a matter of Choice; It is not a thing to be waited for, But something to be achieved!” - William Jennings Bryan April 30, 2011 31