by Kama Siegel, Oregon Chapter, Solo Librarians Division
Without being overly derivative of all of the posters who have come before me, I’m going to discuss many of the themes you’ve heard throughout the life of this blog. Except that I’m going to apply it to recent events in my own professional life by making it into a story. Don’t worry, though, the themes will be easy to spot.
Once upon a time, I was content — if a teeny bit bored — at my position as a law librarian at a mid-sized firm. Particularly in this economy, in the extremely competitive city of Portland, Oregon, I counted myself lucky to have a job at all. But I wasn’t at all sure I wanted to be a law librarian for the rest of my career.
Someone close to me has a position in a small company whose mission and structure I admire very much. After a few years, I decided I wanted to also work at this company, so I set about figuring out how. (Theme #1: be proactive!) I had met the president of the company a few times at non-work events, and had actually gone in and spoken to a few staff members about how to maximize their use of social media. (Theme #2: show them your “extra” — thanks, Thomas Friedman!)
Then a setback: they didn’t think they’d have money in the budget to hire me until the beginning of 2012. (Theme #3: be flexible!) I dug into my duties at the law firm with renewed vigor (Theme #4: give your very best service to your patrons!) and waited to hear from the other company. A few weeks later, I got a call from the CFO, asking me if I’d like to come in and talk to him about a different project, one for which I had very little experience. (Theme #3 again.)
Long story short, I was able to convince the CFO that I could without a doubt do this extra project about which I knew next to nothing (Theme #6: be confident! Also, Theme #7: step outside your comfort zone!). Successful completion of the project will subsequently make me indispensable to the company, and we will live happily ever after (Theme #8: be optimistic!).
The purpose of this post is not to toot my own horn about my new position, but rather to illustrate that taking on an opportunity that drops into your lap = future ready. Being willing — note that I do not use the word “unafraid” — to dive into unfamiliar territory = future ready. Knowing you can machete your way through that territory = future ready. And in my case, plunging my career into glorious chaos = future ready (Theme #9: blaze your own trail!)
Kama Siegel is the President of the Oregon chapter. She recently left her stable, cushy, 16-year career in the legal field to plunge headlong into the unknown at Alta Planning & Design in Portland, Oregon.