The January theme for GLAM Blog Club is ‘what I want to learn in the year ahead / what I learned in the past year’. I started this blog to write on the same topic exactly one year ago, focusing on what I had learned the previous year. I got a lot done in 2017, and it was hard to separate out ‘what I learned’ with ‘what I achieved’, since many of my achievements were learning experiences too.
What I learned in 2017
2016 was a real crash course for me in upskilling and learning about the profession of recordkeeping and archives. 2016 had very much been a ‘LEARN EVERTHING’ experience, whereas in 2017 I tried to be a bit more selective about what I engaged with. I continued and consolidated some learning activities begun in 2016: using Twitter to learn and network, learning more about Information Culture, and completing two more units for my University studies in information and knowledge management.
By early 2017 I felt that between my university studies, my work experience and my self-directed learning and experiences, I knew a lot about recordkeeping. While there is always more to learn, I decided that my focus for 2017 should be more on soft skills and transferable skills in leadership and communication, as well as building my network and gaining experience in writing and presenting.
To support my learning, I put myself forward for a lot of opportunities in 2017, possibly too many! I spoke at one international and three Australian industry events on topics including electronic signatures, information culture, and the perspectives and needs of students and new professionals. I co-ran the RIMPA Noobs group for students and new professionals, which involved delivering several events, a volunteer program, and some blog and newsletter articles. I volunteered to write for a range of industry publications on a range of topics including a book review, a conference review, and an industry magazine article about electronic signatures. I also learned about agile project methodology, organisational culture and leadership styles when I undertook a work placement for my studies.
In preparation for attending a conference in Mexico, my partner and I attended Spanish classes for a few months leading up to the trip. It was great fun, we met some fantastic people, and it made it far easier to communicate with locals and to be understood.
Take-home message from 2017: collaboration is the best!
I always knew that teamwork and collaboration are important, and this was really demonstrated to me in 2017. My biggest achievements at work and outside of work were collaborations.
In addition to my day job, I voluntarily collaborated with some practitioners and academics outside of work time on some events, writing and workshops. These were rewarding and positive experiences, and I could not have completed some initiatives without the shared workload or the fresh perspectives, processes and ideas that collaborators brought.
What I want to learn in 2018
I always keep a running list of things I want to do for professional development. Often it’s just a short article or podcast to listen to, sometimes it’s attending an entire conference. My to-do list for 2018 learning already has 67 items on it, some carried over from 2017. This is in addition to completing one final unit for my university studies.
I recently became a supervisor in my day job, so in 2018 I plan to learn more about leadership, giving feedback, and management. I also want to learn more about agile project methodology, as I’m noticing that this is being used more and more in the workplace, so I need to be across it.
Finally, I’ve been developing my writing skills in the last year through this blog and other endevours. In 2018, I want to continue to do so, by focusing more on peer-reviewed and academic-focused pieces.