Because tomorrow is Friday and on Friday I go out for coffee with my buddies, I want to tell a story about finding kindred spirits in unlikely places.
The social dynamics of my workplace are as strange as most. We have the entrenched wage slaves who don’t seem too excited by anything about their jobs, there are a few close to retirement who seem so so tired, and stare at their packed lunches with a far away look in their eye. I have professional, genial interactions with them all. I’m happy to pass the time of day in the kitchen while my tea brews, or chat about holiday plans at the Christmas party but that is the extent of it. Pretty standard.
I have my crew. They are four blokes. Career archives people who have traveled and worked in so many places and tell bloody good stories. Most of them have twenty plus years on me but our shared love of books and politics and banter make that irrelevant. I told them about this blog post and they told me to bugger off. They don’t trust social media :). They are also, and this is the key, extremely supportive of my career aspirations.
Having ambition can sometimes feel like a poisoned chalice. As a new professional it can be a delicate balancing act. Finding people who support your learning, letting the right people know you are smart and competent and asking for opportunities to extend your skills. Building relationships with people not just because they can help your career in obvious ways. These can be tricky things. Inevitably there will be people, for reasons of their own might not be so supportive.
So here is my four point plan for staying sane and getting ahead;
- Stay focused and clarify your goals, seek help if you need it
- Find a mentor
- Seek help anyway
- Ignore the haters
****The Australia Society of Archivists has a mentorship program for its members. https://www.archivists.org.au/ as do other professional associations and workplaces.