From the archives, Musings, What's next, Work Stuff

From the archives: Moving up a stage

This isn’t quite “leveling up” and it could possibly be thought of as moving down a stage, but it is movement. What am I talking about? In this post, Shelagh discusses these professional stages:

Theorist Donald Super offers these 5 stages of self-concept & career development

Like Shelagh, I’m in the maintenance phase, but moving into decline. I’ve had a lot of opportunities at all the schools I’ve had the privilege to work at, mostly seeming to do with making Big Changes to the collection and program. Sometimes it’s even been a bit surprising what needs to get done or how a simple change in staffing can move things forward.

There are still things I want to accomplish at Milton, like moving into the new space (construction/renovation starts this summer!) and helping the Lower School libraries integrate with the Middle School program and increasing opportunities for students to use the space for more than just research/studying. The archives need attention, and there are a couple of new or reimagined history classes that will be really exciting to work with, not to mention our growing collaboration with the Science Department. There are areas of the collection that still need to be updated or organized (I see you, 940.53 and 940.54!)

And yet… maybe it’s COVID fatigue. Maybe it’s my eye issues. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s something of a feeling of déjà fait. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. But I’m starting to think about “what’s next” and not in terms of professional challenges. It’s more how to wind things down, asking if this or that professional opportunity is worth the time and effort. Do I need to attend this conference? What will that workshop really give me that’s new or pushes me forward? What about serving on a committee (or not)? It’s also asking myself if an idea for the collection or program is something I need to explore (and push my team to help implement) or perhaps that’s an area that could–should!–wait for the next person to bring fresh eyes.

It’s June. Graduation is in a few days. These are the things I’ll be thinking over the summer.

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