Thursday, 10 October 2013

CILIP New Professionals Day workshop

Last week (4th October) I ran a workshop at the CILIP New Professionals Day in London.
Although I have facilitated workshops before, and have a professional certificate in training , this was the first time I had planned and run my own workshop...and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I had 34 people in my session and received some useful feedback.

The theme of the session was 'developing professional skills' and my aim was to help delegates explore ways of developing professional skills using examples from outside of their day jobs. As the title of the event explains, the audience were new professionals , so I was aware that some may not actually be in posts and I wanted to help them find other ways of getting the experience they need in order to apply for jobs.

To prepare for the workshop I looked up a number of library and information job vacancies in the UK and chose the 6 skills most regularly asked for by employers.

On the day the room was set up theatre style and I wanted the 34 people to work with each other, so after a quick introduction from me, I asked them all to put themselves into small groups.

Monty Python breaks the ice.

I followed this with an ice breaker: I asked everyone to explain to each other which of the Monty Python team they were most like* This immediately lead to groans, laughter and lots of noise, which is of course exactly what I wanted...everyone talking and getting to know each other

I then asked each group to look at one of the 6 skills, and chat about ways they could develop examples.
I had slides ready with my suggestions, but I was very pleased to find that all the groups worked well together and came up with lots of ideas.

After each group had fed back to the whole room, I then asked the same groups to look at 6 activities or actions (blogging, networking etc) and asked them to answer three questions:

  1. What skills will it help you develop?
  2. How would you start?
  3. How would you improve?
Again, I had slides ready with suggestions, but they were just for back up in case there were any awkward silences..., but there were none.

I received some very pleasing feedback.

32 people took part in the workshop, 25 filled in feedback forms.

  • 19 rated the speaker's knowledge as Excellent, 6 as Good.
  • 23 rated the speaker's communication skills as Excellent, 2 as Good.
  • 8 rated the slides as Excellent, 14 as Good and 3 as OK.
  • 15 rated the handouts as Excellent and 10 as Good.
  • All 25 said yes they had enjoyed the session.
  • All 25 agreed the workshop helped them identify ways to develop professional skills.
  • 24 out of 25 said they had enough time to discus topics with their group.


“Really useful collaborative session”

“Great speaker!”

“Many thanks, it was useful”

“Good interactive workshop, thank you”

“Handouts are great, relaxed and fun workshop, thanks”

“Really fun session, well done”

It was a useful and interesting day, very well organised by Matthew Wheeler at CILIP. The best part was of course, getting to know more new professionals, whose enthusiasm was uplifting.
You can read more about the day and the other sessions here.

Matthew will also be speaking at the CILIP Cymru Wales FREE Information day and AGM , booking is open now.

Mandy Powell, CILIP Policy Officer, Wales

* For the record, I think I am most like Terry Jones.

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