Reading Jo’s post about her experience of the Chartership process prompted some rather self-critical thoughts. Apart from demonstrating the fact that Jo is terrifyingly well-organised, it reminded me that I had planned to use some more techy tools in my own Chartership but completely failed to do so. Did I even get near setting up a wiki? No. Did I use any productivity apps on my smartphone? No. Did I get any further than good old Word docs? No.
But then I got over myself and realised that actually it doesn’t matter in the slightest. The main thing is that I have been getting through the process in a way which suited me. So what if I shared things with my mentor by emailing her a document and receiving it back with track-changes all over it? So what if I kept my CPD log on a printed-out grid in my desk drawer? So what if I tracked my evidence-gathering by means of columns on my PPDP (itself a Word doc)? These were the methods which suited me at the time.
I wasn’t intending to blog about this, as I’m conscious that it’s rather self-indulgent, but then I read another post, this one written by Jo Wood for the CPD23 programme. Her point about not being intimidated by what other people are doing reminded me of my own anxieties when I was considering registering for Chartership myself, and these looped straight back round into the concerns I outlined above.
As Jo Alcock describes, the whole Chartership thing struck me as a dark and mysterious process. I wasn’t doing anything out-of-the-ordinary, I wasn’t one of the Librariati, what earth was I thinking even considering putting myself up for it? Fortunately I was lucky enough to have Jo Wood as my mentor – she told me to stop worrying and get on with it, so I did!
At the risk of sounding like a corny self-help manual, the most important thing in the process has been following my own path. At its best, Chartership is like an enhanced version of a workplace appraisal programme – it encourages you to get out of your comfort zone and develop as a professional. Sure, it can be a good opportunity to try out some new technologies, but they need to be the ones best suited to the task at hand.
I am absolutely not intending to criticise the choices anyone else has made. My particular journey didn’t encompass anything shiny, but it has stretched me in all sorts of other good ways. I’m still a teensy bit envious of those who chose to embrace all the technological wizardry, but that’s the point really – they chose to do so, and I did not.
This may be a little premature, as I haven’t actually submitted the thing yet, and I know for a fact that my evidence is all over the place (it’s meticulously recorded, but not so well-filed!). But the best thing about it all? I did it my way 🙂
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