A Year in Review: my own

by R.C.Miessler, Head Editor, INALJ Indiana

A Year in Review: my own

rcmiesslerSo, 2013 wasn’t the year I was hoping it would be.

A year after graduating, I didn’t score a professional library gig (although I was able to turn my volunteer work into a part time job in a library). However, I had plenty of opportunities to network with other librarians, refine my resume/CV and cover letter, and practice interviewing.

Despite not getting the coveted librarian title, I recognize that I am a long way from where I was in January 2013 … I have picked up a lot of skills, learned what I am doing right in my job search, and recognized a lot of things I have done wrong. It’s all a part of being a lifelong learner and realizing that the interviews and applications aren’t wasted time, they are practice for what will eventually happen. Each cover letter got stronger, and I found more applicable achievements and skills to put in my CV. I crafted stronger answers to interview questions and got caught off guard less often when someone on a search committee threw me a hardball. I figured out that there are some types of institutions that I would rather just not be a part of, and that sometimes the things I never thought I would enjoy about librarianship might become potential careers.

And really, if I take seriously the philosophy of lifelong learning, that I expect myself and my patrons to have that attitude, then this year has been a chance to learn about myself and librarianship as a whole. Sure, it’s been frustrating and depressing at times, but right when I think that I need to just give up and get a “real job,” some small victory will happen–there will be a sincere “thank you” from a patron or co-worker, or I’ll be on a roll and knock out a bunch of original RDA cataloging without having to look at my notes every 30 seconds.

So, there were successes this year despite the obstacles. Oh, my daughter was born this year too, so coming home to that from my non-library job helps ease the pain of rejection (at least until she’s 12 years old or so), but it also makes the search a bit more desperate, as there is a new life that is depending on me for food, housing and insurance. But it’s all just motivation to find the job that’s the right fit for me (and for the library), to find myself in a place that I truly love going to every day and knowing that I’ve found my vocation.

Here’s to 2014, a year of applying what I’ve learned in 2013.

2013 Job Hunt Statistics:

  • 81 applications submitted

  • 19 interviews, 7 in-person, at 11 institutions

  • 2 part time job offers

  • 1 part time job offer accepted

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 20.5 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 

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