This blog is not usually a place for personal reflections. However there is a meme on twitter this morning #10yearsago. Looking at many other’s microposts of where they were 10 years ago naturally led me to reflect on whether I should post my own and what I would/should say. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t compress it into 140 characters. Also I turned 50 last month – it is time for a bit of reflection on where I was, where I am, and perhaps, where I might be going.
Firstly a lot of people that I follow seem to have had a LOT of change in their professional lives in the last 10 years compared to me.
Ten years ago I had chosen my new profession, had graduated 2 years before and was working in my third job as a librarian. I was to stay in that job for the next 7 years. So in the last 10 years I have changed jobs but not careers. Also I saw my last job change as a progression- building on my experience and getting back to my core subject specialty. Advancement wasn’t a consideration.
The others that I follow have had much more career progression but, on reflection, I follow them BECAUSE they are high flyers and I can learn from them. Of course high flyers will undergo more rapid change than I.
My periods of rapid change were in the eighties and nineties. My twenties and thirties. We moved house and changed jobs frequently.
However ten years ago I was living in this house, with this same lovely man and I had an eight year old in primary school and a soon to be five year old about to start. Any changes in that time have been from the natural progression of kids growing up. On reflection our lack of change is not because we are old and staid but because we are happy with how and where we are. And we have been lucky. It’s been a decade of consolidation. The kids have grown, we have done some renovations, we have both changed organisations but not careers. We have had a lot of different pets. We haven’t traveled much. We haven’t had very significant health issues. No-one significant has died. [Updated: stupid sentence. Some members of my family did die in last 10 years] The potentially large upheaval that came from my husband being retrenched last year was offset as we had been financially well off for the decade previously. It was scary at the time but, in hindsight, we have mostly done well from it.
I have been thinking about where I might be going lately professionally because for the first time I am in an organisation where the structure might allow for a librarian to do something different, change paths and do interesting things without leaving. With opportunities come choices. I like this organisation and its goals. My clients have similar interests to me, are bright intelligent people and mostly I can speak their language. I hope that in ten years time I will still be working with them. However I can’t forecast exactly what I will be doing. I know and hope that it won’t be exactly what I am doing now. I think our structure, my interests and the current strategic directions of the internal organisation and the external science research environment, that any future role will be something now regarded as much more IT related than traditional librarianship. To prepare I need to do some skill building. In the short term I need to build my project management skills and extend my IT knowledge and cred. I definitely need to learn to code. In the long term I need to keep current and open to change.
Personally I am also forecasting larger changes for our lives in the coming decade than the preceding one. One kid has all but moved out. The other will also be likely to. Our parents are getting aged. Things are unlikely to stay the same. But that is how it ought to be. We can only be as prepared as possible.
Happy New Year to all. Thanks to my family, clients, colleagues and RL and online friends for making life interesting. Here’s to looking forward.