Resilience makes a successful professional

I like to think of myself as a resilient person. Yes, things frustrate me. Often. There are days and even weeks when I want to cash in my chips and go home. But overall, I enjoy my profession and want to succeed–if only for the fact that my job has the capability to help change someone’s life.

Our library, along with hundreds of others across the country, is undergoing rapid changes both physically and in the services we offer. It seems like libraries were stagnant for a bit, and we’re all trying to squeeze in what should have been years of gradual progress.

This doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially for those who have worked in libraries for decades. There’s a natural fear that comes with reassignments and complete job facelifts. None of the demands that library leaders insist on are meant to discourage or force longtime staff out, despite what it may seem.

I don’t believe that anyone is born resilient. While some of us may appear to be tough cookies, most of that hard shell was developed over time. It takes practice to build the character that enables us to say, “Well this is a sh*tty situation, but I will overcome and be stronger for it.”

While searching for some articles to share with a staff member who has shared her concern and frustration with me over the months, I stumbled upon this: http://www.liscareer.com/hourston_resilience.htm

This article gives some great resilience tips :

  • Change happens: bring it on!
  • Relationships and support: ask for help!
  • Perspective: is the glass really half-empty?
  • Be brave! Believe in yourself
  • Know yourself and take care of yourself

Most professionals cannot expect to remain in the same role throughout the duration of their careers. I think it’s easier for young worker-bees like myself to navigate these waters because we expect that. So while older library staff have decades of experience that we can learn from, it is our job to co-mentor by openly practicing and sharing these strategies for accepting change.

So here’s to the many metamorphoses we will all encounter and librarians building the resilience to survive and thrive.

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