This is a bit of a rambling post. I have been working in public libraries for nearly 27 years. I had not originally planned to end up in public libraries, but once I got my first job in one, that was it, I was hooked and I stayed.
As a young professional, I moved up quickly, becoming a very young branch manager of a medium sized public library within 18 months of graduating. It was tough and I learned a lot, thanks to the patience and perseverance of my staff (all of whom were older than me) and an amazing management team, who gave me what I needed to succeed – from a scolding to credit when and where it was due.
Then my home life intruded and I took a break – 13 years to be exact, to have and raise my children. Something I don’t regret for a moment. Me being me though, I couldn’t let go of the profession I love so much altogether, so I continued to work part time. Even in the shorter hours, I continued to learn and grow and my library has given me many opportunities to do so. With the support of my amazing husband and again incredibly supportive staff teams and management, I also did some short-term stints in more senior roles on a full-time basis, but on the whole, I worked part-time. However, all these experiences have helped me to discover what I want to do “when I grow up”.
What I want to do is continue in the field I have managed to worm my way into, which I really enjoy and which I seem to have a talent for – IT. At the moment for me, it mainly about the Internet, but I am taking steps to improve my knowledge in the Info Tech and Library Systems side of things, to give myself a bigger picture perspective and to also open up the possibilities for moving up in this area.
For some reason, computers and I seem to get along well, right from the very start, when I started in my first job and I discovered that the library had personal computer – an Apple 2C. This was joined by an Apple 2E and next thing I knew it was 6 months in and I was the go-to person for both of them. Pretty good for someone who had only dealt with punch cards and mainframes before then. Decades later and my smart phone has more computing than those early Apples did and I am still loving every minute of it.
And the timing is right, as again with fantastic support from family, I am able to work full-time.
So I am able to go and I know the general direction I am going in, but I am still working on exactly how I am going to get there. In the meantime, I am soaking up everything I can from every experience I can get, whilst giving my all to where I am now. I don’t know how long its going to take me to get where I am going and I am not entirely sure if I’ll know when I get there, but in the meantime, I plan to enjoy the journey and continue giving my best all along the way.
Do you know where you are going? Do you have a plan to get there? I encourage you to find your passion in your work and pursue it, make it your direction. Once you have your direction, work on your plan, but be sure to allow some flexibility for the unexpected things that happen along the way. Life get’s in the way sometimes, but if you allow for it, you might just be able to use it to your advantage. And sometimes it gives you options that you might never have imagined………