by Caitlin Moen, Head Editor, INALJ Louisiana
Cross-Country Job Searching : An Interview with Derrick Jefferson
Current Position: Communications Librarian at American University, Washington, D.C.
Twitter Handle: @geekandahalf
Caitlin: When you began job-hunting, what criteria did you have? Parts of the country, types of positions, etc.
Derrick: Ideally I wanted to find a job where I could take advantage of my film background AND my library background, but I didn’t have conditions on where in the country.
Caitlin: How did you narrow down the areas of the country to which you were willing to move?
Derrick: I like big cities and I was looking for somewhere with good public transportation and good culture/things to partake in. I especially was drawn by cities where I already knew someone who lived in the area.
Caitlin: How did you find job postings when you were looking?
Derrick: My go to lists were INALJ, HigherEdJobs, and a great resource that a lot of people don’t know about is the list at UCLA’s GSLIS program. They have great resources and I was looking in my home state, so there was a much more comprehensive in-state list. I also looked at different state associations for their various state job lists.
Caitlin: What major challenge did you face in job hunting cross country?
Derrick: I thought that there would be more responses. I applied to roughly 50 jobs, and of those 50, I had 3 interviews. I was looking at reference and instruction positions from California to Vermont and everywhere in between. It was discouraging to experience such a low response rate.
Caitlin: A piece of advice for people who are currently job-hunting cross country?
Derrick: Be diligent. A lot of the time, you can’t take it personally. Often, it’s not just if you’re going to be right for the job, but if the job environment will be right for you. It’s a complicated process and it just takes time.
Caitlin: Main takeaway?
Derrick: Job hunting is rough. It’s hard. It’s a full time job. I was very frustrated and discouraged, but I ended up with the RIGHT job. Now I’m just enjoying where I’ve landed.
Derrick is originally from San Diego, CA, and moved to the Los Angeles area, where he earned his M.F.A. in Film. He worked for a number of years in California as a Graduate Advisor before relocating to New Orleans, LA, where he pursued and earned his M.L.I.S. After two years at Loyola University, Derrick recently moved to Washington, D.C. to take on the position of Communications Librarian at American University.