Know a Good Thing

by Caitlin Moen, Head Editor, INALJ Louisiana

Know a Good Thing

caitlin3I’ve wanted to be a librarian for a long time.  I’ve wanted to work in an academic library for a long time as well.  I’m open to different duties and roles, but constrained by location because of my family.  I had a position that was not the right fit for me; neither in job description or in work environment.  I then stumbled into a contract with a company that works with various academic institutions and corporations on various projects.  This position was always meant to be temporary, but when my husband was relocated for work I approached my boss about other opportunities and ended up being placed in a remote cataloging position.

This was a perfect temporary solution. I could work from home from anywhere, which made the move easier on me and my family. The contract is constantly in flux, which doesn’t provide a lot of stability, although it’s been going for quite some time now with no cancellations or major adjustments. I knew this would be a good position to move with, and then I could start looking for a more permanent position after getting settled.

I’ve been working this position for about 4 months now. In New Orleans first, as I packed my house, then for a 3 week trip to Minnesota to visit family and finally here in Delaware, in our new home. I started looking for jobs while working my position and getting my family settled. I’ve been a little stressed about everything coming together and working out.  And then my husband said something to me.

“Why don’t you just stay in this job for a while?” I hadn’t really seriously considered this option.  The lack of stability scares me, but when I stopped and thought about it, it occurred to me that I was missing a major opportunity.  I honestly LIKE what I’m doing. And more than that, I love the flexibility of working from home with being in a new place with kids.  Everyone knows that showing longer times in position reflects well on a CV, so that’s a plus. My supervisor is awesome and I have only been short on work for 2 weeks out of the last 4 months.  Since starting work on this contract, I have had the opportunity to work on one other contract and have a possibility of another coming up soon.  I am getting this incredibly valuable varied cataloging experience and I had the pleasure of really feeling confident talking about my work while at ALA.

The moral of this story is to think about what you’re doing now and what your goals are for the future.  Sometimes it’s easy to be so focused on the prize and what you’ve had your heart set on that you don’t stop to look around and see that where you’ve landed is pretty darn awesome as well. This is not the end point or the pinnacle of my career, but this position is going to be a major building block for me and will hopefully lead organically into the next step. It is also an incredible fit for me right now and I am so thankful everyday that I landed in this position.

  2 comments for “Know a Good Thing

  1. Lorilei
    January 23, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I made the mistake of not taking cataloging in library school. I volunteered at a theological library where they gave me a brief lesson in it. I was a reference librarian for 3 years before staying home with my child. I plan on taking advantage of the ALA’s webinars on cataloging. Would I have a shot at getting a telecommuting position like yours?

  2. July 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

    This is something I’m learning as well. Thanks for sharing.

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