Monday, July 31, 2017

Identity - GLAM blog club July 2017

Getting in at the very end here...

This month's prompt reminded me of this post from Letters to a Young Librarian. It probably covers what I have to say far more eloquently (and with far more depth), but here is my identity story.

When I first graduated, as a newly-minted librarian who had given up another career path and more besides to change directions, I was very heavily invested in that identity. Had you asked me who or what I was and it were not to learn my name, I would have told you that I was a Librarian. It rapidly became the central fact of my identity, even though I hadn't precisely worked in a library yet, and it would be six years before the word appeared in my job title or description. That didn't dull my investment in my profession or slightly overdone enthusiasm.

Oh dear.

Make no mistake, it's still an important part of who I am still, but that one-factor identity didn't do me any favours, really. When I began to cultivate other parts of myself again - the love of games and stories (both at once if possible) that has always been there most of all - it was beneficial to my state of mind, general happiness and my professional life.

I still have a strong investment in my profession but it no longer defines me entirely. It's important and valuable but it's not all I am. I take part in professional development but I develop other skills and interests for their own sake. If they overlap, that's wonderful but I don't approach with that expectation.

And I am happier and better off for it.


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