The Old and the New

So it’s been four months since I last wrote, how time flies! I suppose one reason that I have written less recently is because of my new involvement with Twitter. Instead of saving up all my thoughts for a full blog post, I can throw them straight out in little micro-blogs and start an instant conversation. It’s been a great way to get more connected with the library community, and I’ve gotten to know some great people and learnt a lot of new things through using the platform. So I highly recommend getting on board if you haven’t yet – and then follow me @MissLibraryGrrl

2017 was an amazing year. I never realise how much I have achieved until I sit down and reflect on it, which is why I actually really value my end of year professional review. Writing out all the things I did to achieve my goals is so satisfying, and encouraging to see that I am heading in a positive direction.

One my highlights for 2017 was finishing my Masters in Information Studies (Librarianship), and getting on the Executive Dean’s list while doing it. While I couldn’t attend my actual graduation ceremony, I did have my own celebration in the backyard 🙂

Another achievement for 2017 was leading a project from start to finish (which took a whole 8 months to complete!) for the first time – which helped me develop many skills in time management, delegation, negotiation, team work, planning etc. The final product, an online tutorial ‘Academic Integrity for Law‘ is now live and public. It’s a great feeling to see all your hard work come together to make a final product, when it seemed such a big (scary) task at the start!

Finally, I have been especially proud of a gamification initiative I started for first year law students. To encourage greater engagement in our legislative research classes, we ran an interactive game where students had to use their research skills to save a puppy. It was very well received by the students, and has led to a few presentations and a paper for the Australian Law Librarians’ Association conference this year!

2018 is now upon us, and I’m looking forward to another year of growth and change. I have just started in a new role, a secondment for the whole year. I’m at a new university, and have picked up the Business school portfolio here as well as Law. I have lots of new databases and terminology to learn, and I’m looking forward to broadening out my knowledge to another subject area. I’m especially excited about the liaison component of the role. I will be working more closely with academics than I have before, which means I can start to fill one of my skills gaps.

While its exciting, I have been careful not to let myself become overwhelmed. The first weeks of a new job can be a tidal wave of information, and I’ve learnt to remind myself that no-one expects me to know everything straight away. I’ve taken diligent notes, and created a big reference document to help me throughout the first trimester (another new thing for me instead of semesters!). I’m taking each week as it comes, rather than trying to comprehend everything I need to know/do for the whole year. I’ve found this has really helped to make the change feel more manageable.

Starting this new job has also shown me that I have developed a lot more confidence in my abilities over the past few years. When I started my last job, I was so worried about making mistakes, or looking ‘stupid’, or not knowing all the answers. But now, I have learnt that mistakes are ok (everybody makes them sometimes! And making them means you are trying new things which is good!), no-one thinks you look stupid if you ask questions, and no-one expects you to be perfect and know everything. By letting go of that fear and having more self-confidence, it is so much easier to do, and enjoy, my work. It’s a freeing feeling, to believe in yourself and trust that you can do what you set your mind to.

In line with this new sense of self-confidence, and a great panel discussion I attended at ALIA’s NLS8 conference in July 2017 (another great 2017 achievement!), I also started really being myself fashion wise at work. I put my lip ring back in, am happy to have my tattoo visible, and wear what I feel comfortable in. And if that means socks with owl eyes on them and bright patterned tights, funky dresses and sneakers, then I don’t mind. I don’t feel self-conscious and I don’t feel judged – and funnily enough no-one really bat an eyelid when I started doing this. So my worries of what people would think proved to be totally unfounded. Plus, I timed it with the start of my new role so the expectations of who I am were right from the get-go!

So that’s my sum up. 2017 was spectacular, and 2018 is the year of no fear. I can’t wait to keep growing in my new role and I’m excited for all the new possibilities ahead. I hope you all are feeling as positive as I am 🙂

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