Today I tweeted the following two pieces of information:
For the casual observer they probably seemed even more banal than my usual line in tweets, but for me they marked a fairly significant moment, which I want to reflect on a bit further here.Regular readers may already be aware that I recently handed in my notice and followed my husband to New York, where he has been sent by his employer. Although I’m taking a bit of a career break right now I never intended to drop out of the library loop, but I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to do anything about it.
It’s very easy to blame the attractions of a new and exciting city, the time spent on bureaucracy and paperwork, the stress of moving apartments, and the unfamiliar heat and humidity, but the simple truth is that I’ve avoided doing anything because there’s lots to do and it was all feeling a bit much.
I’m not the world’s most enthusiastic networker, and without the prospect of meeting a friend or two, or even recognising a familiar face, the idea of going to events feels somewhat stressful. I don’t even have a colleague to drag along for support, or a job to talk about once I’m there.
My Chartership portfolio remains gathering dust in a state of almost-but-not-quite completeness. Getting back into library stuff really means getting on with that too, and whilst I’m fairly sure that the final push wouldn’t actually be that painful it’s been much easier not to do anything about it.
So what changed?
Firstly, Kelly got in touch with me before I left the UK and suggested forming our own East Coast Chartership support group, and then reconnected a few weeks after I’d arrived. We’re now plotting a New York meet-up, of which more details will follow soon! Chatting with her about it over email has reminded me that I still want to submit before the end of this year, and getting a date in the diary for our meeting will give me at least one tangible deadline to aim for.
Second, Kate commented on one of my blog posts today, which prompted me finally to go onto the SLA website and apply for membership. Several people now have told me that the New York chapter is very active, and how nice they all are, and the next thing on my to-do list is to sit down with their event calendar and get some dates in my diary.
So huge thanks to both Kelly and Kate for pushing me into action more effectively than all the nagging in the world would have done. I’m feeling more positive about the whole professional thing now than I’ve done for a while. Once I get my Chartership dusted and done I think I ought to put together a development plan for the next year or so – I know that might sound kind of weird now I’m free of the annual appraisal cycle, but I need something to help keep me on track, and I probably shouldn’t make a habit of relying on serendipitous happenstances!
And the business cards? Well, if I’m going to get out and start meeting new people I need to be prepared, right?!
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