As information professionals, taking the time to reflect on our current and future professional needs and wants are essential. It is crucial to acknowledge our accomplishments, which help realize our areas of expertise and growth areas. Reflection is necessary to our professional evolution, especially if we need specific skills to be better information professionals. In this blog post, I speak with LaQuanda T. Onyemeh, a multifaceted professional, and I will incorporate reflection prompts to consider.
How does your role make a difference?
I think this is an important question to reflect on since many of us interact with various people. For instance, as an academic librarian at a state university, I interact with students, faculty, staff, community members, alumni, just to name a few. Hence, I want to make sure that I am consistent with my interactions. Personally, not having an elitist mindset is important to me. I don’t want anyone to think that I am above them or that I am better than them since I am a faculty librarian. I understand that, in some cases, power dynamics are there and might have to be acknowledged so people can let their guard down.
When I asked LaQuanda this question, she stated, “My role makes a difference because I provide important educational resources to the library.” LaQuanda likes to build “fruitful relationships.” Relationship building is fundamental to the work that we do as librarians. Therefore, take the time to think about how you want to build those relationships and what relationships you want to develop.
How are you using your strengths in your current role?
When I discussed this with LaQuanda, she directed me to Gallup CliftonStrengths. Have you taken any self-assessment of your strengths? To use our strengths in our current roles, we need to know what our strengths are. A friend of mine recommended VIA Character Strengths, which is another test that you can take. Onyemeh’s top 5 strengths include Ideation, Restorative, Strategic, Positivity, and Relator. Understanding what her strengths are will be so beneficial to herself, her colleagues, and to the people that she supports daily.
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What knowledge and skills do you need to get to the next stage of your career?
This is the last reflection prompt to consider, which I think is vital to your professional development. Being honest and transparent about what knowledge and skills I need to gain to take my career to the next level have been my driving force. Onyemeh stated, “I also plan to create a personal, professional development plan to assist me with my career advancement.” Creating a professional development plan is essential. Remember, this can be as flexible or as rigid as you need it to be. Just remember creating a plan will help keep you focused and on track to achieving your goals.
In conclusion, LaQuanda sums it up perfectly: “I will remind myself to pause and reflect on my journey by continuing to learn from the tough lessons while simultaneously appreciating the successes.” Take the time to reflect and process your journey thus far; it is important to celebrate yourself.
LaQuanda T. Onyemeh (she, her, and hers) is from Western New York and currently resides in Houston, TX. She is the proud owner of She Creates Tech LLC (SheCreatesTech.com), a web design and creative consulting agency specializing in content creation and instructional technology support services for educators, visionaries, and burgeoning entrepreneurs! She is one of the co-founders of WOC+Lib. WOC+Lib is a fast-growing digital platform for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in librarianship to express innovative ideas, personal experiences, and original research in librarianship. LaQuanda’s passion for learning, advocating, and resolving challenges is evident in every aspect of her professional life. In her spare time, LaQuanda enjoys painting, visiting family and friends, and music.
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