Career Planning at Any Stage Workshop with Ulla de Stricker

As I mentioned in my last post, Ulla de Stricker was in Montreal on Friday for Web 2.You. At the suggestion of Cabot Yu from CLA-CASLIS, the CLA McGill Student Chapter (led by Adam Baron) and the CLA Montreal Chapter (led by yours truly) were lucky enough to be able to host Ulla for a career planning workshop on Saturday. Although the audience was composed mainly of students, I certainly learned a lot, and I believe the other professionals did as well.

In case you don’t know, Ulla de Stricker is the President of de Stricker Associates, but before becoming a consultant in 1992, she worked in a variety of information-related roles. The breadth of her experience was apparent throughout the workshop, and she emphasized the value of having twenty years of experience as opposed to having one year of experience twenty times over.

She said that if we only took away one piece of advice from the session, it should be to become active in professional associations. This is one of the things I keep saying to students, so I guess this means I’m on the right track in my advice-giving! She told the very sad story of a woman who lost her job after many years and struggled to find a new one because she hadn’t been active with any associations.

The meat of the content included how to create a resume/CV that’s attractive in terms of content and layout (don’t focus on job descriptions, tell your potential employer what you accomplished and took away from previous positions), how to appear and behave at job interviews (bring a nice pair of shoes in a bag if the weather is bad), and how to market yourself and make your work visible (identify your most important clients and do everything you can to learn about their needs and market your services to them).

The slides are available online, so I won’t rehash the entire presentation. I just want to urge everyone, students and professionals alike, to take every opportunity to learn from respected experts like Ulla de Stricker. Until her next presentation, I suggest you look through her slides and consider checking out the book she just wrote with Jill Hurst-Wahl as soon as it’s available.