Writing a Performance/Professional Development Plan

Every job I have had after graduation has required that I write a Performance Development Plan (PDP), sometimes called a Professional Development Plan. This outlines what I aim to achieve during the year, how these aims link with the strategic directions of my employer, and it enables that employer to review what I am doing.

There was however, very little guidance on writing one. This can be quite frustrating for a new graduate, with so much to learn already and every one expecting you to know about this strange PDP beast. Luckily, my recent employer sent me on a full day workshop to learn about writing these goals and targets.

So, a few tips 🙂

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A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates

The American Library Association – Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has published this interesting article in their eNewsletter ‘Library Worklife’ (October 2015 issue), titled ‘A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates’.

It is of especial interest to students and new graduates, and while written by an American organisation, is very relevant to us here in Australia as well.

I’m glad to see that the knowledge and advice I have written about in my previous blog posts for students and new grads touches on very similar strategies.

The job readiness strategy in this article focuses on two pillars: first, building experience through “temporary” positions. Temporary positions are defined in this strategy as jobs that are short term and help develop a career. These jobs should increment the knowledge and skills needed for a particular type of professional librarian position. The second pillar is to form a network. As a person works through these temporary positions a professional network begins to take shape; hence, creating new opportunities for collaboration and professional development.

Have a read of the full article and good luck with your developing career!

Michelle De Aizpurua

Starting Work as a Graduate (with very limited work experience)

I’m going to try to make this post a bit shorter than the last few.

When I graduated, I had no idea what to do. I applied for lots of work, but most things required experience I did not have. Lots of the jobs advertised either didn’t require my qualifications at all, or were very high level. I rarely see any job advertised in between, even now.

I had to get work experience somehow. So I kept applying, for everything. Eventually, I was lucky enough for a high school to give me chance. I don’t know what it was, but they were willing to give me a go. Bless them. Finally a break. And what a good one, a great school and wonderful team. But, this was a Library Technician position, not really what I had been hoping for, but I was thrilled none the less. I was there for 6months covering someone on leave. Then I got offered the same job at an even better school, one of the best in the State (a select entry school), for a year. Then I got offered casual work as a Library Tech at another amazing school, and then more casual work finally as a Librarian at a university. Slowly, slowly, I have climbed.

Here are some lessons I have learnt from the last year (from working in only one particular area of libraries mind you!):

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Tips for Library Students

There are a few things I wish I had known back when I was studying. Or things that people mentioned that I didn’t heed enough! People would give advice, and sometimes I’d think – “but I don’t have time for that”. Well I would have if I’d prioritised better. So, some of my tips for students (in no particular order):Read More »