Author: Denise Carter, Managing Director & Principal Consultant DCision Consult and BIR Editorial Board member
Working in a corporate setting as an information professional has its own unique challenges. We are often working as a sole information professional, and as such we can get over-looked and under-valued. Getting recognition and acknowledgement for the very real value we can and do bring to organizations can be a challenge.
Based on 25 years’ experience here are my top 7 tips for being a successful information professional in a corporate world:
- Know your organization and customers; keep learning constantly.
- Define what you do carefully; don’t offer services you can’t maintain and do well long-term.
- Sell your team by your name(s) AND the name of the team. Make sure the individuals delivering the service get recognition.
- Sell your skills and expertise not just the services offered.
- Take on new distinct shorter-term projects that have the potential to improve your knowledge and expertise and increase your value to the organization.
- Be constantly ready, willing, and able to change and adapt.
- Keep changing and adapting.
And then here is my take on what you need to understand and acknowledge about yourself and your organization to not only survive but truly thrive:
- You are the expert: No-one else in the organization understands the tools, science, and art of managing information as well as you do.
- No-one else is interested in the detail of how you do you what you do. Only the results count.
- Results matter. Speed and deadlines matter.
- Your boss will be likely be the person with the least interest/knowledge about what you do.
- You will change boss / department frequently.
- You will constantly have to explain / justify your work, your costs, your value.
- You will be seen as a huge expense first and an asset second.
- You will never have enough time.
- Every day will be different.
- You will likely be a different personality type than most people in the organization. You need to learn their language, what makes them tick, and what you need to say to get them to first, listen, and second, to act.
- You must adapt yourself to the organization and its culture, or you will neither thrive nor survive. But at the same time, you must stay true to your ethics and values as an information professional.
Denise Carter is the Managing Director & Principal Consultant for DCision Consult, which conducts research and CI projects for pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies. Prior to this she worked for multi-national pharmaceutical and chemical organizations for 25 years.