Ways That Your Job Hunt Is Out of Your Control

by Mary Gu

Have you ever found yourself churning out application after application to submit into complicated HR portals and never hearing a word back either way? Talk about staring into an abyss (where staring means that you had to make a special account on the designated HR portal and you had to upload your documents separately and then you had to enter your work history into the portal anyways…)! It can be very demoralizing to find yourself in a job hunt cycle that doesn’t seem to be rewarding your hard work. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work though? You work hard to research the company, you craft personalized cover letters, you go to networking events and try not to look too desperate, so where is the corresponding output in relation to your effort? Unfortunately, the job hunt is not like school and it probably doesn’t even adhere to the laws of physics.

There are, in fact, many ways that your job hunt is actually out of your control. It may feel like a personal affront that the perfect company with the perfect job for whom you are a perfect candidate didn’t even give you a call, but it’s probably not personal. Sometimes it’s because your application was lacking something and sometimes it’s factors that have nothing to do with you personally.

1.  The job description is a lie (maybe)

You, as the candidate, can only do your best to showcase how well you meet the requirements of the job based on the job description and your own research into the company. You’re relying on the information provided in the job description, but you can’t actually assume that the job description is 100% accurate or that it captures 100% of the desirable skills/qualities for the position. It may seem outrageous and unfair, but there are reasons why this can be so.

  • There may be unwritten preferred requirements in: technical skills, past experience, specific industry experience, educational credentials, etc. The job position may not technically require these things, but the hiring team would vastly prefer candidates with these characteristics. Or, there are special aspects or challenges of the job that are difficult to convey in a succinct job description that the hiring team is keeping in mind, which is why they have unwritten preferred requirements.

Example: A library is hiring for a Digital Humanities Librarian and provides a comprehensive job description for the role. This role will cover a range of digital humanities functions. However, the hiring committee knows that several faculty members in the Slavic Literature Department have interests in mapping projects. While it is not mentioned in the application, the committee particularly values geographic information systems experience and other language skills for this position. They are hoping that the new hire can start collaborating on projects right away and sees the existing interest from the Slavic Literature Department as good opportunity.

  • Due to HR/union/policy reasons, the job description paints one picture of the perfect candidate, but the hiring team is looking for someone different. This is related to the above point; the actual perfect candidate is probably not vastly different, but it’s not always exactly what the job description describes either. As well, due to policy reasons, certain job types may have pre-set characteristics that must be in the job description, but does not represent an important part this specific role.

Example: Organization X is looking for someone to oversee the implementation of a new information management software for Department A. The job title is a Manager title and, due to policy reasons, all Manager level jobs must include a section about experience or skill in managing people. The hiring manager has determined that the actual ideal candidate needs highly developed technical skills and experience with software implementation. This position will not have any direct reports and thus people managing skills are not very important. The section about people managing skills still must be included in the job description, but the hiring manager will not value that very highly when reviewing applications.

  • Sometimes the needs of the job changes during the hiring process and the types of candidates needed also change. See more in #2.

These scenarios can be more likely in some industries or types of positions than others. Chances are that the job description has gone through multiple revisions and several departments in large institutions or organizations. So it’s less likely to change during the hiring process, or if there is change, then there is a new search. However, there can be unwritten preferred requirements in any field. Just do your best with the information that you have access to!

2.  The company/organization is experiencing change

Never forget that the company that you are applying to can have any number of on-going situations or evolving processes that could potentially affect the advertised position or the hiring process itself. You are not likely to be privy to those changes unless you have an insider source.

Example: Company A is hiring for a Project Manager with a background in user experience design projects. The role is to support a new project to look at one of their legacy software products. The tech team has already been assembled and will be headed by an experienced company employee. Company A is looking for a high-energy and diplomatic Project Manager to help manage the different teams involved. Two weeks after the job postings are released, the original tech team lead has given her notice and will be leaving the company. Company A’s executives have made the decision that the rest of the tech team is strong enough to manage, but the Project Manager to be hired will have to have a stronger technical background than originally specified to help fill the potential gap in skills.

3.  There are issues within the hiring team/committee

There can be issues within the hiring team that will influence the hiring process and the selection of the candidate. Sometimes there is a multiple step approval phase during the candidate selection process. You could have made a great impression on the department or team that you will be working with, but if the HR member of the hiring team doesn’t sign off on you, then you may not be offered the position. As well, it could be that a member of the hiring team has a particularly busy schedule or has unexpected circumstances occur such that the hiring process is delayed or a hiring team member has to be replaced. All of these scenarios can mean that your chances as a candidate could have changed as well.

“It’s not you, it’s me”

One of the most important things that I’ve taken away from my own job hunt and from working at a recruiting agency is not to take rejections and silences too personally. Sometimes it’s not that you did anything wrong or that you didn’t present yourself well, sometimes it’s the other side. Use the above scenarios to help keep things in perspective.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I hearing back from any of my applications?

If yes, then maybe it’s not really about me and I need to keep going.

If no, then maybe something is wrong with my applications.

  • Am I soliciting feedback on my applications occasionally from others?

It’s easy to get tunnel vision and it can be helpful and refreshing to get another person’s perspective on your applications.

  • Am I using my professional network to my advantage?

Even if you must keep your job hunt discreet, take opportunities to let people who you trust know that you are searching. They may know about internal postings and give you a heads up. They may pass the word of your search onto someone who is thinking about hiring. Your colleagues are a resource.

  • Am I taking breaks from my job hunt?

It’s so important to take breaks from something as stress inducing as a job hunt. Sometimes a week off from making any applications will rejuvenate your spirit and refocus you, so do it!

Most of all, keep going!

Posted in Job Hunting 101 | Tagged ,

Tips for new students: One year out the gate

by Mary Gu

As a perpetual student, September has always meant the joys and anxieties of the new school year to me. I finished my Master of Information at the University of Toronto in the summer of 2014 and, one year later, September still feels like new beginnings to me. I have been in the workforce for one year having started my first non-student job at the end of August 2014. Since then I have moved on from my first job and started working in academic librarianship this September. September and my own new beginnings have inspired me to look back at my student days and reflect on what I’ve found most useful in my professional life that I gained as a student.

  1. Get work experience.
  2. Participate in extracurriculars.
  3. Being generous.

From the above, you can probably sense that I took a very pragmatic and career focused approach to my Master’s program. I do believe that it has served me well since finishing school, but these suggestions may not be as relevant for those of you who are more interested in continuing further in post-secondary. So take what I’ve written here with that caveat in mind.

Getting working experience

I had the great pleasure of working for several departments on campus while I was completing my Master’s. I provided reference and research services for a social sciences/humanities library and for a life sciences library. I also worked for a summer in the collections development department for the university libraries. These jobs gave me invaluable work experience, opportunities to participate in exciting special projects, and grounded my understanding of my profession in personal experience. As well, I met wonderful colleagues and supervisors whose support I continue to rely on. And, of course, it’s no surprise that work experience is a must-have in the competitive job market.

Ways to gain work experience:

  1. Check campus libraries for student job postings.
  2. Check if your institution has work study options or practicum/co-op courses.
  3. Work in the city/town’s public library system.
  4. Volunteer.
  5. Take jobs or volunteer positions with transferrable skills (e.g. customer service, events planning, administration, tutoring, counselling, etc.)

Not everyone has the luxury of getting a library job or being able to give their time for free. In these situations, try to find jobs with transferrable skills or participate in occasional, short term volunteering opportunities that are relevant to the library or information profession.

Participating in extracurricular activities

Sometimes it can be difficult to get work experience, but participating in extracurriculars can give you a range of relevant skills and experiences. Whether it’s participating in a student group or a professional association, running your own program, or participating in student council, these activities can provide you a lot of opportunities. These are opportunities to try something new, take on new responsibilities, learn skills, give you interview question fodder, and add depth to your resume.

Examples of extracurricular activities:

  1. Opportunities associated with your program.
  2. Student groups.
  3. Student council or other academic governance roles open to students.
  4. Professional associations.
  5. An independent project.

To touch upon an earlier point, there are skills that can be gained through extracurricular or non-library jobs that can be very desirable for library or information jobs.

Examples of desirable skills or characteristics:

  1. Good customer or public service.
  2. Budgeting/financial management.
  3. Project management.
  4. Teamwork and leadership skills.
  5. Organizational or time management skills.
  6. Interpersonal flexibility.
  7. Ability to change quickly to respond to the environment.
  8. Interest in contributing to communities.

Being generous

One of the most rewarding aspects of my time in this profession so far has been how generous my colleagues have been with their time and advice. My cohort in my Master’s program have been invaluable sounding boards and cheerleaders as we navigate the job market. My past supervisors have given useful feedback, references, and advice. Of course, I’ve benefited from the many professionals who volunteer their time through professional associations to impart advice and skills. I urge you to take advantage of these sources in your own life and be bold (and courteous) when approaching other professionals. In return, I believe it’s important to be generous with my own time and abilities. Take advantage of what other people are offering you and be generous yourself when you are able.

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Reflecting on Changes: Year One (Employment Anniversary)

By Judith E. Pasek, University of Wyoming

I am judith E. Pasek, Librarianrapidly approaching my one-year anniversary of employment as a university librarian in research and instruction services. The time seems to have flown by quickly, perhaps too quickly. I still feel like I am learning how to do my job. This is a good time for me to reflect on where I started, what I have done so far and where I may be going as a librarian.

I am not talking about annual performance reviews or tenure and promotions reviews—where others make judgements about the quality of my work. Those occur on different schedules, with different purposes. Instead, this is a time I have chosen to think about my journey in a broader context.

Change is Constant

A theme that pervaded my MLIS program was a need to embrace change, particularly in relation to technological developments. What has struck me by reflecting on my first year is that I have already experienced multiple changes that affect my work. These changes are mostly small, incremental adjustments rather than life-altering occurrences.

The impact of small changes can be easily overlooked among the steady stream of daily activities. Upon reflection, it is apparent that my job has not been static even as I have attempted to become proficient in my new responsibilities.

William Robertson Coe Library, University of WyomingNew Service Model

When I started, becoming oriented to working on the Research Desk was a priority. I had to quickly locate answers to questions I was not yet thoroughly familiar with about library policies and procedures and available resources. The experience provided me with insights into the types of issues library users were encountering.

Our library is transitioning this summer to a consolidated desk model whereby the Research Desk has been combined with the Circulation Desk, and is regularly staffed by library assistants rather than by librarians. I no longer have regular hours on the Research Desk, but am available from my office on certain days to provide backup for more difficult research questions.

I now have more time to work on instruction and workshop preparation, consultation, and liaison services. A down-side is that I feel less connected to library users, although that could also be a result of the slower summer session. I am grateful for the experience I had in working the Research Desk, because I think it helped me become knowledgeable about the unique aspects of the library more quickly than would have occurred otherwise.

New Personnel

We hired two new librarians in Research and Instruction just as the desk consolidation began. I am no longer the newest librarian in the organization. I find it interesting to observe the newer librarians work through the same job orientation process that I started just a year ago, although without regular Research Desk shifts.

Work dynamics always change as some individuals leave the organization and others join. I expect additional change as we make plans to fill and refill several positions within the library organization in the coming year. And I anticipate greater involvement in selecting my new colleagues—after all, I am no longer the newest librarian in the organization.

Domino Effect

Although I work most directly with my colleagues in Research and Instruction, the work of other library departments also impacts my work (and vice versa) in potentially big and small ways. In an effort to free up space for other purposes, the library initiated a reference “reduction” project, shifting most of the remaining print reference materials to the stacks. After my department reviewed reference materials to determine which could become circulating volumes (from a user standpoint), the work was passed on to Collection Development for electronic replacement review and to Technical Services for re-cataloging and marking, and then on to Circulation for re-shelving.

Within a week of engineering materials being relocated, I had a consultation with a graduate student who was more than pleased to be able to check out handbooks relating to his research that previously would have been restricted to library use only.

Even seemingly small changes can have cascading impacts. Several changes were made to the library website to emphasize article and catalog search boxes, de-emphasize the super search discovery tool, and replace ambiguous icons. Subsequently, library research guides and tutorial videos had to be reviewed for outdated icons and screenshots.

Similarly, purchase of new resources by Collection Development can result in a need to update library research guides to link to and highlight newer materials and types of products. As I became the point of contact to help users with certain citation management tools (i.e., EndNote and Mendeley) I needed to address software changes even as I was developing new guides. I found that working with library research guides involves not only developing resource pages, but also updating content as associated changes occur.

All these changes, in turn, can affect the content of instruction sessions and workshops. Instruction preparation similarly is not a one-time activity. Continuous improvement is the driver of quality instruction services.

Continual Learning

Given that resources and services are continuously changing, finding ways to keep up-to-date becomes an important aspect of the job. I was fortunate to be able to participate in a number of conferences, workshops, and training sessions in my first year, addressing a range of topics in instructional design and techniques, data management services, academic librarianship trends, and scientific subject matter.

Closely related to professional development are responsibilities for scholarship and academic and professional service. These areas provide opportunities for growth in knowledge and experience. Year one involved searching for opportunities that may be a good fit for my interests and abilities, with an expectation that greater progress will be made as I become more entrenched within the profession.

I have collected ideas over the past year while continuing to keep my eyes open for interesting opportunities for greater collaboration and leadership. Reflecting on my first year, I recognize that I have already learned a lot, accomplished many goals, and am well on my way to becoming the librarian I aspire to be. And I am especially thankful to have joined a great group of supportive and encouraging fellow librarians.

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Events Planning Team Update: A look back and a look forward

By Mary Gu, SLA First Five Years

The first SLA FFY event for 2015 was the webcast “You never walk alone: Tips & advice for building teams for FFY-ers” back in April. Our moderator was Angela Kent and our panelists were Deb Hunt, Tom Rink, and Clara Cabrera. We’re so glad that many of you chose to join us!

Some great quotes from our panelists

Deb Hunt

“[I’m] not just looking for skills that people have for potential members on a team, but attitude.”

“I’ve really learned that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Being on a team, a lot of the time, has to do with compromise. It’s really important to let everyone know that he or she is heard.”

“It all comes back to that thing when somebody’s feeling like they don’t want to be part of the team because they’re being marginalized or maybe feeling threatened is letting them know they are part of the team; that’s important.”

Tom Rink

“In the library world and in SLA, being an active volunteer I’ve been serving on committees and taskforces most of my library career. By being able to observe how others run a team certainly helps you get a feel for which ones work and which ones don’t work.”

“Communication skills are key [in team members]. There also has to be some form of having proven [ability] in the past by serving on a committee, some form of leadership ability.”

“The best thing to do is to get to know people. Even small talk, just take an interest, be polite, don’t go in with a closed mind…”

Clara Cabrera

“Understanding not just the individual, on a personal level – which may play a part – but understanding their skill set…[and] understanding the time constraints that every individual has on their plates.”

“An important skill that you can rely on and one that you can always fine tune is how to prepare so that you can come prepared to each challenge and that the people you work with feel that you are able to handle whatever the situation is as a lead.”

“[When] working with an individual [there’s] whatever different cultural differences they may bring to the table, but also the cultural differences of the culture of the work environment so whether it’s a government, academic, or different types of corporate environments.”

The webcast went by fast, so I wanted to highlight one particular question and the answers we received from our panelists since they mentioned several products that people may be interested in researching.

Question Highlight: What resources did you reply on to improve your team management skills?

We hope that you found the webcast enjoyable and useful. You can find the recording of the webcast for download here.

Looking forward

It’s a busy, busy time of year for many of us and the SLA Annual Conference is coming up fast (June 14-16). For those who are attending this year’s conference in Boston, come meet your fellow FFY-ers on Monday June 15 at M.J. O’Connors.

If you can’t make the happy hour, but still want to get involved with your fellow new professionals? Take notes at all those great conference panels and submit a piece to the SLA FFY Blog; there’s a lot to see and do, so you could be doing the community a great boon by contributing a summary or review of your experiences. You can access the submission form directly here.

The next webcast that the SLA FFY Events Team is planning will be on the topic of workplace cultures to occur in July. More information is forthcoming!

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Write for our Blog: How to Share Your Great Thoughts and Ideas with the FFY Community

SLA’s First Five Years Advisory Council is currently seeking blog submissions. If you have ideas or would like to share your experience as a new professional or for new professionals, please complete our submission form. 20130607_WritingforTheProfession

We’re interested in posting stories about leadership (from any position), career transitions into the field of librarianship, and management for new managers, among many other topics relevant to young and new library and information science professionals.

Submissions should be 250-500 words in length and can be presented in a number of formats, including essays, interviews, roundups, reviews, or tutorials and tips.

Have your say and share your thoughts, ideas, questions, and experiences with First Five Years members. And If there’s a topic or issue you’d like to see on our blog, you can use the same form to submit your suggestions.

The First Five Years Advisory Council provides support for new information professionals through their social media endeavors and via special events by developing learning and networking opportunities to attract and retain new information professionals. FFY is also charged with interfacing with SLA’s units and other advisory councils and committees to consolidate information, mentoring opportunities, and educational opportunities for new information professionals.

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Advice & Inspiration from Jad Abumrad of Radiolab

By Judith E. Pasek, University of Wyoming

“Gut churn.” That is how Jad Abumrad, founder and co-host of the syndicated public radio program Radiolab, described what he and his business partner recalled about their startup efforts. I recently heard Abumrad deliver an engaging keynote address at the 2015 ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries) Conference. His messages about his pathway to success resonated with me, and seem particularly relevant for new librarians and information professionals. Abumrad said that people often ask him how he became successful. He readily admitted that he had no idea he would be successful when he started the Radiolab program. The beginning was fraught with uncertainty and anxiety—i.e., gut churn.

Jad AbumradAbumrad also said that it took him a long time to find his voice—not just in terms of his vocal quality as a radio host, but also in terms of content for the program. Initially, Abumrad looked to media giants for inspiration, but ultimately, he had to discover his own uniqueness. He also reflected that the first time we do something is not our best work. We improve with experience. And so too, his radio show was not an overnight success.

I think these are good points to keep in mind as new professionals. Recognize that trying something new involves a level of discomfort. We build confidence as we gain more experience in an area. So we build upon what has worked well for us, and refine and improve whatever did not quite meet our expectations. We carve out niches where we can shine as having a unique combination of knowledge, expertise, and skills in our workplace and profession. We find our voice and place in a new environment.

Abumrad recounted how Radiolab content developed a unique style in that it starts by telling a story, then hits a dead end. Later, something will further the story again in a repeated start and stop process. A new story angle is picked up when new information comes to light. But not every idea pans out. In journalism, about one out of every four ideas results in a useable news story. So multiple lines of inquiry need to be pursued at any given point in time. Abumrad said he learned from a professional gambler that odds of as little as 25% are good, because a big win can more than make up for three previous losses.

To get good stories, Abumrad said it is necessary to venture into the “dark woods,” that is, the unknown, every so often and re-experience that “gut churn” of doubt. For library and information professionals, this may translate into a willingness to take on challenging projects and new ways of doing things–and to not be too afraid that an idea may not work out as anticipated. In other words, taking risks is part of the learning and growing process, and a necessary element for advancement and success. Abumrad emphasized it is best to enter the “dark woods” with someone by your side to provide encouragement. Recognize the no one has to go it alone. Find a mentor, partner, supportive colleagues, or confidante to provide moral support and guidance, especially when the view ahead becomes murky.

For all of you embarking on new careers or new career directions, remember to embrace the “gut churn,” learn from your experiences, find your unique voice, be willing to walk into the darkness, and find someone to walk with you. Share your career development challenges and experiences. Support and learn from each other. And celebrate successes together.

Photo above Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Found on Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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Mentorship Programs Through SLA Chapters and Divisions

By Neyda Gilman, SLA First Five Years

Mentoring can be an extremely beneficial process for many in the early part of their career, and the library/information career is no exception to this.

iStock_000008263589MediumThe First Five Years Advisory Council aims to provide beneficial information and some guidance for early career information professionals. While we ourselves can not provide a mentorship program, we have done our research and want to share mentoring opportunities available throughout SLA.

Many SLA Divisions offer mentorships to their members. Does your division?

If your division doesn’t have a mentoring program or committee, don’t despair yet! Many SLA Chapters also provide mentoring help.

If you are beyond the early part of your career, consider being a mentor!

Did we miss something? Is something in this list incorrect? Please contact us and let us know.

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SLA First Five Years Conference Happy Hour

Join your SLA First Five Years Advisory Council for a cash bar happy hour at M.J. O’Connors on Monday, June 15, from 6:00 till 7:30 p.m. A great event for students and professionals new to the field, our happy hour is the perfect chance to connect with early career info pros from around the world.

M.J. O’Connor’s is located at 425 Summer St, right around the corner from Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Alternately, find one of our council members at the registration desk at 6:00 to walk over as part of our group.

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Join us for our 1st FFY webcast this year!

We are excited to announce the details of our first webcast in 2015! We’ve invited three great speakers to talk to us about all the ins and outs of working with and building successful teams.

We hope to see you on the call! For questions, please email us at slafirstfiveyears@gmail.com.


You Never Walk Alone: Tips and Advice on Building Teams for FFY-ers

Date: Thursday, April 9, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm EDT
Panelists: Deb Hunt, Tom Rink, and Clara Cabrera
Moderator: Angela Kent

Have you ever found yourself on a new team, assembling a team, or even taking on a leadership role within a new team? No matter where you are in your career, it’s critical to build a collaborative environment.

Our webcast features three great panelists, each of whom have extensive experience working within teams of various types. We’ll hear from them on interperson values that work with teams of all kinds, how to navigate tricky interpersonal situations, and what it was like taking on management roles for the first time.

Our webinar will be moderated by FFY council member Angela Kent. We’ll leave time after our panel discussion to take questions from our viewers.

RSVP here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3975556234673122305

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How to Pay Your Way for SLA Annual: The FFY Guide

By Davis Erin Anderson, Community Engagement Manager, METRO

SLA’s 2015 Annual Conference is headed our way! A wide range of session topics, lots of time to network with info pros of myriad backgrounds, and a beautiful city to explore make this conference a can’t-miss experience.

Airplane silhouetteAs early career professionals, though, the question of whether to attend isn’t driven so much by interest or desire. It’s primarily a question of finances. When we’re just getting started in the field, securing money for professional development isn’t always easy. All the same, meeting potential future colleagues in person is a really smart idea at this stage in your career; it is well worth the effort to explore the many ways to compile the benjamins you need to get yourself to conference.

Ask for Support from Your Employer
It’s my hope that you’re currently working in an environment that supports your professional endeavors. That said, if you’re not able to ask your workplace to fully pay for your conference fees for whatever reason, maybe they’ll go halfsies? Every little bit helps!

When asking for financial support in any amount, make sure to fully vet the conference schedule, ID sessions that apply directly to your work, and make specific note of all the ways in which you’ll put your newfound skills to practice in your day-to-day. Communicate all of these things to your manager when asking for support. And pay it forward: offering to give a talk at work regarding what you’ve learned is a great deal for everyone around you.

Look into Scholarships from School
Every school wants their students to succeed; check with your school’s office to see what kinds of scholarship programs they sponsor. If your school itself isn’t handing out the fat stacks, there’s a good chance they track other outlets that provide conference scholarships for students.

Often, student groups — like the various SLA chapters within library schools — provide scholarships through your school’s student association. The catch? You may need to be a member of SLA to be eligible (but you already knew it was a good idea to sign up anyway).

Seek Funding Through SLA Chapters and Divisions
Part of the dues you pay to be a member of our illustrious organization go toward the financial operations of divisions and units, so why not take advantage of the bevy of scholarships and travel stipends on offer (here’s an exhaustive list!)? Check with your chapter and division to see what kind of support that can provide for the conference. A travel stipend alone will knock a couple hundred bucks off of your final cost.

If you’re a student who is willing to pony up for travel, housing, and food (and/or assemble support using the other tips we’ve included in this post), check out this volunteer opportunity through SLA. In exchange for working at the conference registration desk for a day, you’ll receive free conference registration. Apply by Friday, March 27, 2015.

Book Travel On Time
A great way to manage the costs around travel is to know the best time to book. For flights, it’s been said that buying tickets 57 days in advance is a sweet spot. If you’re an East coaster and you’re willing to take the train, book ASAP while costs are low.

Even if you’re not living on the East Coast, taking the train from afar might be more financially reasonable than booking a flight, if you’re up for a longer, more restful journey aboard a peacefully rocking train.

Get Creative With Housing
Paying for a place to stay is often a huge sticking point when it comes to paying for conference attendance. Remember, you can say “no” to conference housing! Look for less expensive hotels or book with a roommate, for starters. Or you can eschew the notion of small, impersonal hotel rooms and sign up for an airbnb instead. A bonus: you can live like a local and get a sense of daily life in Boston.

If you can make good on your promise to deliver an awesome gift to your funders, take a look at GoFundMe or Kickstarter or similar crowdfunding sites. I’m willing to bet that, if you take into account the above options plus whatever you’ve got to spare in your bank account, crowdfunding the difference won’t be too hard a sell.

There you have it! Seven different ways to fund your awesome experience at SLA 2015. If you have other ideas to share, we’d love to hear them! Please add your thoughts in the comments.

Photo credit: Kuster & Wildhaber Photography

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