Professional portfolio building


Maggie Weaver gave a presentation to the local chapter of Ontario Association of Library Technicians about “Developing Your Own Professional Portfolio” on March 10. When I read the following workshop blurb, it really resonated with me:

You can make your own luck when it comes to careers, not just by being in the right place at the right time, but also by evaluating what skills and experience you will need for that next step, or that perfect job, and by planning to develop your competence, learn new skills, and make contacts.

Maggie is an engaging speaker and I found elements that appealed to mid career library technicians. Her process of compiling brochures, CDs, web sites, certificates of recognition, and even job descriptions into a portfolio results in a marketing tool to complement a resume. The process itself of building a portfolio can boost self-esteem, as library technicians can see their fruits of labour.

At performance review time, I could analyze my abilities against some checklists, like the Employability Skills 2000 from the Conference Board of Canada and Special Libraries Association Competencies for a starting point of skills to develop. Then I could initiate courses or projects to pursue in the upcoming year. A supervisor would be brought into the process and next steps are drawing up action plans and documenting success, setbacks, or failures.

Maggie’s enthusiasm got me thinking about what is in my portfolio. Building a portfolio is creative, similar to scrapbooking.


3 Responses to “Professional portfolio building”

  1. 1 Karen

    That’s a good point Brenda. One thing I like to do at a performance review is hand in an evaluation of my accomplishments for the year, as well as a list of goals for the next year. Being a solo library technician, members of my firm don’t really know what I do, they just know that I’m “not a problem”. I’d like them to realize I’m a lot more than “not a problem”!

  2. Brenda and Karen:

    Some good thoughts here. Just wanted to congratulate you on the fabulous new blog–it covers some great thinking that I haven’t seen elsewhere, and I like your positive tone.


  3. 3 angelacw

    I missed Maggie’s session — thanks for sharing! I’m a mid-career LT too. One of the best ways to keep up is lifelong learning and seeking out opportunities to reinvent your job. I also use to link to my online and digital portfolio (i.e. use it to link to your online activities, articles, etc. via an “About Me” tag.)


    Angela CW

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