#libday7: What is it you do?

For years, the rumor in the town where I live was that I work for the local spy agency. When my kids were asked “what does your mom do?” they answered: “Forget it, it’s too complicated to explain.” All anyone seems to know is that I mainly work from home, I work long crazy hours, and I’m able to support a family.

So what is it I do?

The easier thing to explain is what I do as a volunteer: music cataloging at a local library, the Karnei Shomron Public Library.I’ve done about 200 out of the 700+ discs that need cataloging; when I finish those I plan to move on to getting the English language books into the computerized catalog. That means searching out information that’s not on the disc or the accompanying materials and deciding what access points, given my very limited time, are worth putting in to the catalog.

The harder thing to explain is my day job as corporate information officer. Technically I work for a small boutique investment firm, which seconds me out to companies currently under its sheltering wing. That means one year I may be working on information about widgets, the next about aardvark technology. Well, no, not really, but since we mainly invest in high-tech stealth start-ups, I can’t really talk about my fields of practice unless I get you to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Yes, it makes for fun times on first dates when I can’t talk about what I do.

I usually work out of a home office. At around 7 am I wake, make coffee, and read the tech blogs. Anything that would be of interest to one of my companies gets put on the relevant corporate blog. After that I scan the marketing blogs and newspapers and add any relevant information to marketing plans.

The afternoons vary, depending on which client company need attention the most. I might compile a list of publishers or work with a marketing professional to create brochures. I might search for suppliers, chase down NDAs from potential partners, put together grant applications, get information on the availability of WiFi in Bora Bora, or debunk the latest hoax going around the industry. I read my LinkedIn groups and then start making and returning calls from Europe and the US. Sometimes I’ll go out for meetings with investors; one day last week I got to go to see a competitor’s product demonstrated.

In short, my job is to know why our corporate product is better than our competitors’ and be able to back up that claim with scientific studies and marketing history.

Except, of course, on days like today, when I spent 14 hours writing a 26 page paper, with a 3 page bibliography, on antelope prevention.

Library Day in the Life Round 7

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2 Responses to “#libday7: What is it you do?”

  1. Shannon Says:

    Wow! That sounds like a really interesting job! I have noticed that you work crazy hours so how do you manage your time?

  2. Ahava Cohen Says:

    CPD23 Thing 8 — Google Calendar!

    I’ve got several advantages: I’m a widow with grown kids, so I don’t have a social life or anyone who’ll care that I’m working late hours.
    I often work with people in the US, and they don’t care what hours I keep.
    I’m a solo librarian and I telecommute, so as long as the work’s done no one care what time of day I do it.

    I try to let my clients know as soon as possible when there is a block of time I’ll be unavailable, and I always let them know if there’s time that I cannot be reached by phone or Skype. In exchange, I’ve made it a rule that I’m not to be called by phone before 7 am or after 10:30 unless they’ve arranged it with me in advance, and not on Fridays or on Saturday nights unless it’s an emergency. During non-phone hours I’ll answer emails if I choose to, but at my own discretion.

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