Monday, July 25, 2005

Your Local Librarian is Your Career Change Friend

In working with folks who are between jobs, and particularly those facing career change, I find that they often are unaware of what a great resource their local librarian can be in their job search. In an age of tons of bookstores and the ease of ordering both new and used books online, many of us have forgotten the benefits of public libraries.

First of all, most of the books that you will find helpful are on the shelves of your local library. All you have to do is walk in (you'll have to sign up to check them out unless you already have a card) and start browsing. And you'll find that it's a lot cheaper than picking up a handful at your local bookseller or online.

But probably more important, your local library has librarians -- people who are trained in doing research to help you find information you need. Here are a few things they can help you get that you might have a hard time obtaining on your own:
  • Information on the fastest growing businesses in your area.
  • Contact information (names, phone numbers, addresses, titles, etc.) of leaders and decision makers in local companies. This information allows you to target decision makers (rather that HR departments) with your information.
  • Local organizations that decision makers in companies that you are interested in are members of. This is valuable if you want to attend meetings or functions of those organizations in order to meet such people.
  • Career information that is in subscription-only databases.
One of the first stops in your job search or career change journey should be your local library.

And you'll make a great friend of a librarian when you enlist their help in doing some research -- that's what they love to do.


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