Posted in Education, Management for Informational Professionals, MLIS Courses

Managing Success

This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.

Unfortunately, success outside of Star Trek is not so easily defined. Your success must be defined by you, and no others. Figuring out your personal definition of success isn’t as easy as not wearing a red shirt as part of the scouting party, but Jayson Demers outlines a scenario to help you on your way:
Picture yourself with all the money and time you could ever want. What would you do? Would you help promote a specific cause? Would you pursue a certain hobby or try to solve a major problem in the world? How would you find satisfaction? (Demers, 2015)

When I was living in China, I had all the time I could ever want (and more) and enough money to have few worries and a lot of time for introspection. That time in my life is, after all, what led me to the decision to start this degree. With all the free time in the world, I spent my time reading books through eLibraries (shout out to Denver Public Library and Jefferson County Public Library in Colorado for having fantastic eLibraries!), researching idle thoughts and curious inquiries, and watching Star Trek the Original Series. Oh, and of course, traveling. I wanted a way to take my interests (reading, researching, traveling) and turn them into a master’s degree. By the time I finished my year in China, I had a better feel for what I “want to be when I grow up.” Which, of course, was entirely the point in taking such a stretch of time off between my undergrad and my post-grad degrees. As Dennis Nishi points out in his article for the Wall Street Journal, many Americans don’t take gap years to figure out what they want to do with their lives, often leading them to wish they had done something else as their degrees. (Nishi, 2014) Which is, of course, the exact dilemma I found myself in with a teaching license and no will to teach.

Here’s to hoping my future successes will be defined by me, even if they’re not particularly well-paid!


Demers, Jayson. (2015). Define Success: A Professional’s Guide to Finding Purpose and Success. Inc. Retrieved from

Kumar, Ashok. (2008). 10 Life Lessons from Star Trek. Presentation. Retrieved from

Nishi, Dennis. (2014). How to Define Success for Yourself. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from


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