Guest post #1: Keep your(professional)self alive

This is our first (of, hopefully, many) guest post on Librarians with Lives and I’m very pleased to say that it comes from Bethan Ruddock @bethanar on Twitter and library blogger extraordinaire – she of recently Chartered, Mimas, recently honoured by the SLA, Librarian Crowd fame and a rather marvellous example of ‘our’ kind, who was pressganged offered to write a piece for me. Here it is and I think it’s brilliant We would both love your thoughts on it…

So, get me on Twitter of an evening after a glass of wine and I’ll agree to anything!  Such as writing a blog post for this ace new blog.  I really liked the ‘no more than 15 mins on a post’ rule – that’s something I can fit into my overcrowded days!

But what to write about?  I asked Jo, and got the response ‘anything with a prof dev/ revalidation slant really’ and so, me being me, I’ve taken inspiration from the tweet directly below that in my @ replies – from SimonXIX in response to a rather messy (in many ways) thread that had been going about sticky toffee pudding and celery. Don’t ask.  It said: ‘Perhaps suicide is unprofessional. Discuss’

This got me thinking: what is professional suicide? Is it doing something hideously, horrendously unprofessional – insulting members of the audience from the stage at a conference?  Being sued by the music industry for file-sharing? Going on a rampage through the library, destroying books and computers and traumatising users?

Or is it something more insidious?  Rather than going out with a bang, perhaps it’s a gradual death, a slow wasting-away, a gentle decline.  Perhaps professional death starts where professional growth ends.

We’re constantly told that by not eating properly and not doing enough exercise, we’re gradually killing ourselves with neglect.  I’d say the same is true of our careers.  Professional suicide comes not so much from doing anything wrong, but from failing to do the right things, failing to commit to continuing your professional development.  And just like diet and exercise, we need to find that small window of time to cram it into our busy day.

So, 15 minutes of CPD a day then, to keep your career healthy, happy, and active? Sounds eminently achievable.  And you don’t have to do anything spectacular in those 15 minutes – think gentle stretching rather than full-on sprint.  Spend 5 minutes reading a blog post, and then 10 minutes thinking about it while you’re doing the washing up, or waiting for a bus.  Scribble down a to-do list with some long-term goals.  Learn a fact about the information profession, your workplace, or your colleagues that you didn’t know before.

Keep stretching. Keep growing. Keep your career alive.

Other suggestions for 15 minute CPD fixes? Comments please!

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5 thoughts on “Guest post #1: Keep your(professional)self alive

  1. Great post – did you honestly only spend 15 mins writing it? I doubt I can even manage to write this comment in 15 mins…

    Oh I like the idea, bite-sized chunks (of, er…. melon, to keep the healthy diet imagery going). I don’t actually manage to do 15 minutes of actual exercise a day so it might be a big ask still, but am much more likely to do 15 mins of reading/thinking/learning than I am jogging or push ups.

    I will have a think about this and see what I come up with. I have to say that I am often thinking work things during my drive to work (after the nursery drop-off). Or while tidying the kitchen at night, so a little thinking space is very useful for the busy-at-every-other-moment types.

  2. My thinking time tends to be in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and thought whizz round and round my brain…so I keep a notepad by the bedside. The ideas are captured and I also find I can then get off to sleep!!

  3. Thanks Céline! I started thinking about the post as soon as Jo asked me to write it, but the actual writing did only take 15-20 minutes.

    I don’t manage to do 15 mins exercise a day either! But it seemed like a good analogy for prof development – which, of course, is something you can do sitting down 😉 Good luck with finding thinking space! 🙂

  4. It’s worth clarifying that the thinking process behind a post can take as long as you like but the idea is to write it in 15-20 minutes. It’s an inexact science but I don’t want anyone to spend hours poring over a post, trying to make it perfect when they’ve got better things to do with their time!

    Having said that, Bethan’s post is extremely well written and she promises me that it only took 20 mins to write!

    I’m also a terrible insomniac so do a lot of my thinking in the small hours of the morning when my house is actually quiet for a change! I’m not organised to have a notebook though so I have to try and remember things…

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