Thursday, November 5, 2009

Advancing Your Interests and Achieving Your Goals

Today I can sigh with relief. Yesterday I completed final touches on a promotion portfolio and delivered it to the correct office. Over the course of the last two years I endeavored to keep files and save materials for this portfolio, but I still had to spend a large amount of time organizing and composing documents to fulfill the requirements of our promotion and tenure document.

Now I have time to catch up on some professional reading. Like anything in life, if a person wants to become better at something, he/she can seek help from various sources, such as a friend, a family member, a colleague, a book, a programmed presentation, etc. For example, if I wanted to go backpacking, I could search out and even subscribe to a hiking/backpacking magazine to learn some tips and find out about equipment that may increase your chances for an enjoyable adventure.

Likewise, anyone wanting to progress in their chosen career might do well in reading the professional literature. Frequently, membership dues to a national association include a subscription to one of their magazines or journals. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) publishes College & Research Libraries News on a monthly basis.

They often print great articles for their intended audience--academic and research librarians. Not surprisingly, one such article by Mara L. Houdyshell caught my eye: "Ten tips toward tenure: Advice for the professional journey." She gives ten tips that are worthy of posting on the office wall, well, for those who seek tenure of course, though after I look at them again I believe they merit a spot on every faculty member's office wall. We could all benefit from occasional reminders now and then.

Though I would like to mention all ten, let me just mention two or three.
Tip #1: "Be reliable, flexible, and professional. People appreciate it" (470).
Tip #3: "Pay attention to your department and institution's guidelines for tenure. [...] If it is suggested that you do 'x, y, and z,' in a particular review, don't fritter away the time leading up to your next evaluation mulling over what you should do, do 'x, y, and z'" (470 emphasis retained).

So while I can take a momentary sigh of relief, I still need to move forward, publish, and keep working. For now, I ought to find a tack and put these ten tips on my wall.

Work Cited: Houdyshell, Mara L. "Ten tips toward tenure: Advice for the professional journey." College & Research Libraries News 70.8 (Sept. 2009): 469-70.

No comments: