O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Information Professionals' Career Confidential

Book Description

Based in part on a selection of the author's past blog postings, Information Professionals' Career Confidential is a convenient, browsable, and illuminating pocket compendium of insights on topics relevant for information and knowledge professionals at any stage of their careers.

This book collects comments on matters of interest to new and experienced information professionals alike in 1-2 minute “quick takes,” inviting further thought. Topics range from the value of knowledge management and effective communication in organizations to assessing employers’ perception of information professionals and how best to increase one’s value through professional organizations and volunteering.

This unique resource will be illuminating for anyone in library and information science, career development, or knowledge and information management.



    • Raises questions – in a lively and concise manner – relevant for information professionals
    • Offers readers the opportunity to read entries one at a time for reflection, or to read the entire book and then go back to certain entries to consolidate the meaning
    • Presents ideas and concepts from thoughtful perspectives in a style designed to make professionals and students reflect on their own careers

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. Introduction
    1. The purpose and use of this book
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Part One: Choosing and Forging an Information Career
    1. 1: What do people think of us? Perceptions of the information profession(s) in society
      1. Abstract
      2. 1.1 What will library/information/knowledge graduates be doing 25 years hence? Does it matter right now?
      3. 1.2 To start, let’s take a look at an ultra-brief history of time for information professionals
      4. 1.3 Professional identity in society: What’s in a name?
      5. 1.4 Influence … Why don’t we have more?
      6. 1.5 Is some form of certification the answer?
      7. 1.6 Is it a factor that “anyone can manage information nowadays”?
      8. 1.7 The “Drucker way” future: Opportunity for information professionals to shape it
    2. 2: Who is in charge of our image? Professional reputation management
      1. Abstract
      2. 2.1 Who are we? Career identities, brands, and elevator speeches
      3. 2.2 Projecting the brand in the job interview: Tell the story—then practice, practice, and practice some more!
      4. 2.3 Negotiate from a position of honesty: That’s just part of the brand
      5. 2.4 As you start a new job: Brand yourself from the beginning
    3. 3: Why should we serve? The value of (volunteering in) professional associations
      1. Abstract
      2. 3.1 Our professional connections are powerful assets for employers
      3. 3.2 Investing in our careers: Conferences are not a luxury
      4. 3.3 Use the hallways—They are more productive than they look
      5. 3.4 More on schmoozing: Value for the conference dollar
      6. 3.5 When conference season is upon us …
      7. 3.6 Speaking of volunteering: A sharing of the wealth
      8. 3.7 Volunteer: It’s your career
      9. 3.8 Help others volunteer: That, too, helps your career
      10. 3.9 Sharing professional expertise—It’s what we do (no matter how)
      11. 3.10 Thinking of planning a conference? Tips from a volunteer
      12. 3.11 The experts are in: Useful session models for conference planners
  8. Part Two: If The Work Does Not Find Us . . . We Must Find The Work
    1. 4: Venturing outside: Broadening our scope of work
      1. Abstract
      2. 4.1 Career transitions: More common than we thought
      3. 4.2 The relevance of information credentials
      4. 4.3 Translation from info lingo to business speak: Key task for job seekers
      5. 4.4 Bottom line: We are all in business
      6. 4.5 What are the “non-obvious” jobs called?
      7. 4.6 Where are the non-mainstream jobs? How do you get one?
      8. 4.7 Won’t I need a new resume for such non-traditional jobs?
      9. 4.8 So far so good. What about the cover letter?
      10. 4.9 But … what if there are significant gaps between the posting and my qualifications?
      11. 4.10 The classic dilemma of work experience
      12. 4.11 Could intermediation become respectable again?
      13. 4.12 Oh, I could never take a job in sales!
      14. 4.13 Where do opportunities—to find work and to hire—come from?
      15. 4.14 How about going independent?
    2. 5: Organizational operations: The information professional’s opportunity to add value
      1. Abstract
      2. 5.1 Managing knowledge worker information supply is a challenge—Get information professionals on it
      3. 5.2 Working with reality: Things have changed … so can we
      4. 5.3 Precious time: Limiting waste
      5. 5.4 But there’s more. What about all the information NOT present?
      6. 5.5 Can our potential clients even hear us?
      7. 5.6 The cost of thinking “everyone knows”
      8. 5.7 The incredible value of contextual knowledge
      9. 5.8 But the locals know!
      10. 5.9 Contingency planning: Think through the priorities if things change suddenly
      11. 5.10 “There’s such a thing?” Nurturing information imagination
      12. 5.11 As technology evolves … How do we (want to) protect memory?
      13. 5.12 Oh—Just one more thing (thank you, detective Columbo): Priorities matter!
    3. 6: Knowledge culture: A key determinant of career opportunities for information professionals
      1. Abstract
      2. 6.1 Introduction: Do the right people find out?
      3. 6.2 How much are our services valued at the top?
      4. 6.3 The challenge of proving value: We can count them … but do they count?
      5. 6.4 Aiding corporate memory: An information professional’s contribution
      6. 6.5 Now why did they do that? It looked like a good idea … at the time!
      7. 6.6 Where are the information sharing stars?
      8. 6.7 Silobreaking: We’re in that business, too
      9. 6.8 Pattern vigilance: Noticing when something is “off”
      10. 6.9 Social tools: How may we best apply them?
    4. 7: How is my organization doing with information and knowledge? The information professional’s checklist
      1. Abstract
      2. 7.1 The information professional’s radar: Adding value through observation
      3. 7.2 To start: What signs indicate the “knowledge culture” is healthy or not?
      4. 7.3 Is there a library, information, or knowledge center?
      5. 7.4 Is there awareness of options for staying informed?
      6. 7.5 How well are internal tools supporting employees?
      7. 7.6 What is the corporate culture for proposals and business cases?
    5. 8: Quality in communications: The information professional’s life long career asset
      1. Abstract
      2. 8.1 Would it be better to have a chat?
      3. 8.2 Jargon cleanup: Communicating to non-insiders
      4. 8.3 “Hidden” knowledge or meaning in language, code, or communication style
      5. 8.4 Do we know the cost of information imprecision?
      6. 8.5 “Do not crush”—information may be accurate yet still ambiguous!
      7. 8.6 Local color: The power of understanding “where the clients are coming from”
      8. 8.7 Busy decision makers have short attention spans: Communicating quickly and compellingly
      9. 8.8 Up front or step by step: How do we help readers understand and agree with our thinking?
      10. 8.9 Vital heads-up—or information clutter?
      11. 8.10 Clarity check: Do we meet the standards for clear and effective content in messages, website content, and other information objects?
      12. 8.11 Sleeping on it: Ensuring our messages are professionally crafted
      13. 8.12 Visuals check: Do we meet the standards for clarity in layout and formatting?
  9. Postscript
  10. Additional Reading
  11. Index