“Traditional” Career? What’s That?

Juanita is a candidate for the SLA Presidency. The candidates responding to questions that will better acquaint the membership with the candidate’s perspectives and opinions.

SLA 2012 Leadership Summit: Liz, Juanita, Gloria & Allison

SLA: Question: What sort of advice would you give to professionals, both newly minted and more seasoned professionals, who might be interested in nontraditional career paths?

Juanita:There is no such thing as a non-traditional career path. Our background and training have provided us with the skill set to select, acquire, organize, manage and share information. While these skills are fundamental to a traditional library environment, they are also fundamental to any organization where data / information / intelligence / knowledge is at the hub of that organization’s business. And in this knowledge economy – and in the face of the information explosion that is the Internet, more and more organizations have come to recognize the importance of information.

The pace of change combined with a sophisticated technical infrastructure to manage information has reached a stage where NOT having staff in place to manage not just the technology (the “pipes”) but the actual content, the data, the intelligence, the “water” means that that organization is not capitalizing on the one quality that can differentiate one company, one university, one country from another: our intellectual capital.

This is our moment. The time is now to expand beyond our traditional environments and take on new challenging roles in career paths that are, in fact, the exact right fit for us.

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