Dear You (and me),
Never ever apologise for who you are.
It’s week three and I’m simultaneously exhausted, excited and overloaded with information.
So that’s about it. Well there’s probably more. Perhaps I should make use of the commute to do some more writing . . . just need to resist the siren call of reading/watching/listening!
I didn’t expect to be writing another chapter to this story quite so soon, but here we are.
The end of June found me reading an email detailing the (early) end of my contract. Yes it was a shock, no it wasn’t anything personal, just a decision. I have been AWOL from blogging since then because it’s been an emotional, challenging time and I wasn’t quite sure what to write about and generally just lost the tiny bit of blogging mojo I found during #blogjune.
Whilst I started to wrap up my role and finish all those little annoying tasks that had been in the too hard pile for a few months, I spent my evenings and weekends focusing on finding my next role – here’s what I did:
And then . . . an interview and a job offer. Librarian, in a public library. Exactly where I didn’t expect to be working!
Here’s the thing. I’ve written before that working outside of libraries (in research governance) left me feeling like an outsider. I embraced it and felt like it was a great fit for me. However, I never anticipated my job ending early and honestly, that drove me to look on the “inside” and really think about why I was afraid of applying for librarian roles. Short answer: fear.
So tomorrow, I’ll be catching a train, getting to know new systems, patrons, people, all the good stuff. No fear, ok maybe a few nerves, but I’m ready. Articles like Code Brown: Design Thinking & Beyond feat. @jeromical / Part 1 and The Summer of Bathroom Issues by Justin Hoenke plus public library programs like Reading Between the Wines and Pop-Up Libraries have me very excited to be joining the public library world.
Job searching, resumes and selection criteria have been at the top of my list in the last couple of weeks (change sometimes happens when we are least expecting it!) so here are five resources that have been super useful.
If you’re currently volunteering or working, make sure your resume is up to date, don’t wait until you “need” it! Give your resume a big clean out and use it to tell some dragon-slaying stories. This article really helped me to figure out what stories I needed to tell to make sure people knew what I can do. It’s harder than some pulling together some tidy bullet points, but it does mean you’re using your own voice to talk about what you can and want to do.
The ALIA Students and New Grads blog is full of excellent round ups and tips on resumes. Take a look and keep an eye out for the next resume review session. Speak to the team about finding someone to review your resume too.
Ah selection criteria. How I wish these didn’t exist. I’d much rather make a video response or even a diorama, but until that day, use this guide to responding to selection criteria. Remember to tailor each application!
This wiki is a treasure trove of good information. Books, job agencies, job search strategies, cover letters – you will find all this and more. Compiled by the Students and New Grads Group (seriously this team do a HEAP of fantastic work for new professionals!) take a look and use it!
If you can, let people know you’re looking for work. Reach out to your personal network online or IRL and ask for advice.
Sometimes you might just need to bounce some ideas off a person who doesn’t know you really really well – a different perspective can help. It will help if you are really clear about what you’re looking for e.g think about what you enjoy doing, the direction you want to head in, the kind of people you want to work with. These questions will help you narrow your focus so you don’t just say to colleagues “I want a job!”.
That’s it, I’m off to write some more job applications!
What’s your top tip for job hunting?