In this continuing period of economic downturn and limited opportunities, it's nice to have support from one's professional colleagues. Last fall, METRO, the Metropolitan New York Library Council, formed a Career Transition Special Interest Group (SIG) which met just before Thanksgiving. Its second meeting was February 18, but thanks to the interest of the 24 participants, the next meeting will be much sooner later this spring.
I was one of the attendees at the February 18th session, which was held at METRO’s office on 57 East 11th Street from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Here's a short summary about the SIG and the program. Sure, it's one more meeting to go to and we've got so much going on in our lives now, but perhaps this group is too important for you not to consider participating.
Susan Gormley is the convener for the METRO Career Transition SIG. Formerly at McGraw-Hill where she managed their business intelligence center, she knows what being between jobs is like. But this is not just a support group for people out of work -- it's also geared for anyone considering future career needs which means it should be of some interest to nearly all of us.
The stated purpose of the SIG’s second meeting was to bring your resume and have it critiqued by your colleagues in a free exchange of ideas and suggestions. That never happened. In introducing ourselves, so many people had tips, suggestions and questions to share that we just happily chattered away oblivious of the time until it was too late to start.
Among some of the bits shared: it is thought that the word, "coordinator" is the new buzz word for an "assistant"; Richard Bolles' book, The Job-Hunter's Survival Guide, was highly touted; the website, LinkedIn, is a great tool for networking; indexing may be a good source of temporary work; and lots of opinions on functional versus chronological resumes with the concluding observation that there probably isn’t a single perfect resume, just whatever one bests reflects your skills and experience.
Some participants were recent library graduates, but some were young while others were embarking on a second career, trying to leverage their previous experiences with graphic design or art archives. There were some with experience at professional service firms like accounting and law while others had come from technology or academic backgrounds. The attendees were a typical mix of men and women and a diversity of ages although with an obvious majority sprouting ages from about 40 on up. In other words, you will fit right in, no matter who you are.
Come and share your knowledge, concerns and questions. After all, if we don't manage our careers, who will?
Richard Reid. A Business Researcher and Reference Librarian, he has previously worked at Ernst & Young LLP, in Manhattan, specializing in the retail and consumer products industries, and at the C.W. Post College campus of Long Island University in its Center for Business Research. He holds Master degrees in Library Science from Queens College and Business Administration (Management) from Bernard Baruch College. He is an enthusiastic organizer of fund-raising on behalf of the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bell Ringing campaigns. In his quiet moments, he enjoys walking, writing, reading, theater and movies.