Since Rebecca double booked herself I had the great pleasure of moderating a panel today put together by the Fellow of SLA, “Seeing Your Career from the Outside, In” starring: David Stern, Dee Magnoni, Bethan Ruddock, Ann Cullen, Ken Haycock.  I made each panelist talk about the job experiences they have had to put their later discussions in context for the audience — the mix was fantastic with most of them having special library, academic, and entrepreneurial experiences.  None of them had stayed in one institutions for their whole career.  We talked about “soft competencies”, things like problem solving or what they preferred to call solutions finding, leadership, relationship building, listening, understanding ourselves and our environment (organization culture), change management and more.  It was a great discussion with lots of questions from the audience.  Some great thoughts/quotes:

* interest based problem identification — David Stern gave some great tips for using a tree structure tool to  find hidden interests when trying to identify the real problem/issue

* Dee Magnoni talked about finding out information on organizations you are interviewing with and want to work for; making sure to  align your past experiences with what they are expecting

* Ann Cullen discussed how we all need to understand ourselves and when our optimum thinking this is — hers is early am!

* Ken Haycock talked about the process of social influence bringing together people for organization goals and the 6 principles for developing influence — one being seen (or as Woody Allen says, “showing up”), and I loved this quote from Ken, “the relationship is the message”.

* Bethan is a relatively new librarian and has a new book, The New Professional’s Toolkit

Other books that were recommended in this session included the one Guy Kawasaki mentioned in yesterday’s opening keynote session Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robt Cialdini; Work the Pond which has great tips for expanding your network and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

I’m still thinking about the concept of “return on time invested” — not all tasks/jobs are equal.  Some are critical and should have more time allotted to them, but we often want to do the best we can and spend too long doing some things that are taking away time from others. Hmmmmm.