Alex Lent, a public library director from Massachusetts, offers some great tips. His first step (Read Job Ads) is a habit that I think is crucial for any kind professional development. As Lent says:
Job ads don’t just tell you what positions are available, they also tell you what skills, experiences, and traits are needed in order to get the job.
Once you identify the skills needed for a next career step, you can begin to grow towards that goal.
I checked out job ads for academic library department head positions for a full three years before I ever applied. I would think about the skills I was lacking (like managing a budget) and look for ways to practice in my current role.
If I’d waited to check out the ads until I was actually ready to make a career move, I would have been dismayed by the skill gap.
Check out the full post on LibFocus for all of Lent’s tips on becoming a library director.