My interview with success story Dee
Naomi: How did you find my current job?
Dee: Answered ad in local paper
Naomi: Favorite library?
Dee: Finksburg Library in Carroll County. It offers lots of parking, plenty of computers with no problem about asking for extra time. Most importantly, the staff is knowledgeable, friendly and eager to help solve any problem. Also, it’s relatively quiet so that crafting answers to applications; re-designing resumes and writing cover letters can be accomplished with few distractions.
Naomi: Favorite book?
Dee: For job searching, I read and reread Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People as well as How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Carnegie offers timeless advice on focusing on the positive and offers many examples of how that attitude can help in the professional and personal worlds. I will continue to do this forever.
As far as my personal tastes go, C.S. Lewis’Chronicles of NarniaSpace Trilogyhold a special place in my heart because of the beautiful imagery and profound ideas expressed so movingly.
However, when I started the job search process, I tended towards very dark mysteries written by Scandinavian writers Mankell and Indridason. Now I’m reading the mysteries of Camilleri which inspired the Detective Montalbano TV series. He infuses Montalbano with humor, intuitive reasoning and a profound empathy for the victims he encounters. And the opening of the shows pans over sun-drenched Sicily—much warmer on so many levels than the bleak Sweden and Iceland of the others!
Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/library technology?
Dee: Libraries encompass so much—from stories and reading readiness for children to meaningful programs teaching about history, the arts, finances, health issues for older children to adults plus materials in all sorts of media to suit everyone’s tastes and needs. My librarian training has helped me to help others in many diverse ways, often to the surprise of my acquaintances. They are unaware of the ways in which the library can partner with them to promote their organization or the services offered. As for the technology-it’s wonderful to jump from one site or program to the other almost seamlessly. That capability helped in the job search process since I would access the organization’s website to get the mission statement, staff names and other information that I would incorporate into the cover letter and resume. Having both Word and Explorer programs open at the same time saved hours as I applied for jobs.
Naomi: Any websites or blogs?
Dee: I don’t usually take the time to look at blogs. I did subscribe to the ALA job notification email. Also, I checked my state’s library association website periodically. In addition, I subscribed to the job notifications email service of the surrounding counties, not only for libraries but for government jobs as well. For local information, I subscribed to job notifications from my county’s paper. I had subscribed to Indeed and other services but didn’t find them helpful, especially Monster because the job offerings were for a wide area, often too far for me to travel.
Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Dee: The best piece is to be cheerful, positive and to display a nice sense of humor. In other words, be the “person they want to take to lunch.” No matter how low you feel, when you’re out in the public, whether at an interview or at your volunteer job, put a smile on your face as you get out of the car. My first interview resulted from the staffer finding something funny in my cover letter. This was not deliberate on my part but honestly, I believe that caught her attention even though I wasn’t exactly qualified for the position.
The second most important thing is to find a part time job so that your resume shows continuous employment. At one job club meeting, a woman said that in the two years since she was laid off, she was almost hired six times. When she asked why she was passed over, the interviewer told her that her lack of employment prevented her from being hired. I worked as a Red Cross telerecruiter for seven months, a far cry from the worlds of teaching and librarianship that I was educated and trained for, but my resume shows that I was working in 2010 and then in 2011, I became a substitute teacher or assistant for the local public school system. I took any position for any number of hours, figuring that a bird in the hand was better than waiting for a full day job in my neighborhood. I found old friends and expanded my network. Plus I handled very difficult situations which included autistic preschoolers, behaviorally challenged middle and highschoolers in a special school and the severely intellectually and physically disabled of all ages.
Third: As soon as severance begins, contact all of your friends, relatives and neighbors to inform them of your availability. Don’t let embarrassment stand in your way. In a more focused way, make a iist of professional contacts: former colleagues who worked with you in your system or on committees or whom you met once in a conference. Then each week send two letters with a resume or your business card/quick resume on the back.
Fourth: Network, network, network. Attend job searching meetings, workshops, anything to get you talking to others, sharing advice and experiences. Attend library workshops and conferences. Keep up your professional memberships.
Fifth: Go to your local government job search office daily. Get a counselor and check in often. Take any free workshops you can, especially in computer programs.
All the rest: Have a professional looking interview outfit, be a volunteer, get letters of recommendation for your volunteer work and from former colleagues to keep on hand in order to present at the interview along with your card, resume, newspaper clippings, etc. in a clear report cover , write thank-you notes either via email or in print, have a LinkedIn account.
After months of job searching, I thought “I wish that I could find a job that tapped into the nurturing part of me” and soon after, I found my current job is as a Community Living Staff Specialist for a nonprofit organization that helps the intellectually disabled. I go to their homes and help them to learn to cook, to clean, to attend cultural programs in their communities, anything that helps them to achieve the goals set by the organization, their families and themselves. It’s a far cry from the Information Desk but I find that all my librarian experience and training aids my clients. I find books, use research to find toys or workshops of interest of my clients, suggest crafts for the day program staff, and inform my supervisors of the free services available in the community. I will never stop looking for the next position; as long as I’m in the working world, I will continue to attend courses and workshops to keep my skills current. Also, I continue to volunteer for my state library association and the system from which I was severed as well as other places in the community. So, I’m still taking all of the advice that I’ve given to you here. I hope that I’ve helped you to find your best job.
BA in History and Certified in Music Ed grades K-12 through Loyola University, Baltimore.
MLS from U of MD
Taught Social Studies, French and Music grades K-8. Home Day Care Provider with program that included pre-reading skills development and field trips. Reference assistant at Hoover Library, McDaniel College, then Sr. Library Aide at Carroll Community College, then librarian at Harford Co Public Library, then Carroll County Public Library. Since separation, was Red Cross telerecruiter, then substitute teacher/assistant for Carroll County Public Schools. Currently Community Staff Living Arrangements Specialist with Change, Inc. where I assist intellectually disabled clients in their homes to reach their individual goals set by a panel of staff at Change and the government. Have been involved with the Risky Business Prevention Conference for 3 years which educates professionals about negative and destructive teen behaviors and how to prevent them. Also, am a volunteer for CC Arts Center, Common Ground on the Hill, MD Library Association and Carroll Co Public Library. Have presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare.