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2016 Professional Development Review

I’ve just realised that despite my resolution to blog regularly, I only managed one post last year, and that was in April! It was about attending the LILAC conference, which still feels like it was about 5 minutes ago, so I guess the year went pretty fast…

There’s various reasons for my blogging silence, some personal, but I think these are the two big ones:

  1. A very busy year at work leaving me with next to no down-time for blogging and other reflection
  2. My old friend Horace whispering at me that nothing I have to write about will be of interest to anyone

The first one isn’t very easy to tackle: work isn’t likely to get much less busy any time soon! But I think I need to be more diligent about carving out time for myself to reflect, whether by blogging or some other form. For various reasons I’ve spent the past year feeling like I’ve barely kept my head above water, so time for reflection really fell by the wayside. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I think it’s been a mistake. Reflection is really important to me, not only for my personal and professional development, but also for my mental health.

The second one is a perennial problem for me, as I suspect it is for many of us! I’ve just had a quick Twitter conversation with a few people about this, and been reminded that it doesn’t really matter if anyone else is interested, as long as it’s useful to me. DrBattyTowers just summed this up very nicely:

So, without making any definite targets that will only upset me if/when I fail to meet them, I am going to make an effort to give myself time to reflect this year. This may involve blogging more frequently (and I do have a couple of things I’d like to blog about, including some of my personal lessons learned from line managing a team over the past year), or may just mean giving myself private time and space to reflect.

To kick things off, I thought I’d do a quick review of my professional development over the past year. I did this last year and found it really beneficial to look back over the previous 12 months and remind myself of everything I’d done – it’s easy to forget otherwise!

In no particular order, here’s some of what I did in 2016:

  • Attended my first ever LILAC conference
  • Took over as Secretary of the Information Literacy Group
  • Helped judge various awards for the SLA Engineering and Sci-Tech Divisions
  • Completed a First Line Managers course at work
  • Created some training and induction videos
  • Co-wrote an article for SCONUL Focus
  • Spoke at an USTLG meeting regarding some online resources I’d created

I don’t really have any big, grand plans for 2017, other than to take better care of myself. For that reason I’m not going to set any specific professional development goals for the next year, as I’ve found that at this time for me, doing so is more harmful than helpful. I do have things that I want to achieve, but I also have a tendency to think I must DO all the THINGS or else I have FAILED. So I’m just going to say: here’s to a happier, healthier and kinder 2017.

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