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I’m thinking about applying for CILIP Fellowship later this year, once I’ve finished the Unique and Distinctive Project report.  I was going to do it last year but the Handbook rather took over.

Naturally I looked to the blog- and twitterspheres to see what is being said about Fellowship.   Masses of chat about Chartership but  very little about Fellowship. Tom Roper wrote about Fellowship in 2008 and returns to the topic in later posts on his blog.  I haven’t yet found much else!

It does not seem to be high in people’s minds when thinking about professional development … I wonder why?  My initial thoughts:

  • It doesn’t offer direct career benefits, unlike Chartership, which is required for many posts.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a job where it was a requirement (am I wrong?)
  • By the time people are eligible, their paths have diverged, they’ve specialised and got all sorts of interesting new experience and skills which may be recognised in different ways.  Which means that the requirements have to fit all and so it’s hard to see what is really wanted.
  • Maybe a touch of imposter syndrome – the award is seen as something for the great and good, the very eminent.  Yet actually, when you look at what is required, plenty of “mid-career professionals” could make a case for themselves.

Or maybe people who are interested in Fellowship are just not talking about it on social media!  I wonder.

Fellowship interests me because I am motivated by having challenging goals and would benefit from structuring professional development.  I’ll let you know how it goes and whether I decide to apply.  I’ll also add any writings on the subject by Fellows and pre-Fellows.  Expect many Lord of the Rings allusions too!

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