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Mentoring & Leadership as a New Professional.
As a New Professional, the idea of leadership can be very daunting. I never thought that I could be a leader, leaders look like managers, professionals in librarianship that we all look to for motivation, inspiration.
However, you can be bold and brave in developing leadership as a skill, even if you are not in a leadership position, or seeking job opportunities, even as a recent graduate.
My journey of learning Leadership began with a mentor/mentee relationship, and to understand leadership a mentorship program or agreement is a great place to begin.
When you begin a mentorship relationship it is very rewarding. Someone to tell you, you are on the right path, especially when things are not going to plan and you feel you have made some wrong decisions.
It is very reassuring knowing someone has your back and is there to help you through the tough times. You need to trust in the direction they are bringing you, and through this, you will create a belief in your ability and therefore be strong in your ability to lead one day.
In developing my own leadership skills, I promise to push myself to be great, there is no room for mediocre in my book, because what I see in the many people before me in this profession, are great, brilliant and brave people.
I was very lucky to be a sponsored member of the Leadership and Management Division within SLA, and from there I was nudged by my mentor to apply for their Career Advancement Award. I was even more lucky to win the award this year, this achievement on winning an award, and knowing your work is insightful and can create change for others in your profession is what drives me to learn about leadership. These opportunities can only have a positive influence on your professional career.
As a new professional learning leadership skills can give you encouragement and confidence when applying for new roles, participating in team meetings, or delivering presentations to management and staff. These skills build your professional profile and develop your career through your continuing professional activities.
You learn to create a realistic action plan for your future, what topics you are interested, awards you wish to apply for and committees you hope to be a part of.
Leadership within librarianship is for everyone no matter your rank or title, the more we learn and develop or leadership skills the better we can advocate for our libraries everywhere.
Siobhan McGuinness, Library and Information Professional,