Going International: Is It Right For You?


by Sarah Parramore, Head Editor, INALJ Middle East/Arabian Gulf

Going International: Is It Right For You?

inalj picBeen on the hunt long?

Perhaps you’re fresh out of grad school and eager to share your knowledge with the world, or maybe you’ve been on the search for well over a year.

It could be, you’ve been in libraries a while now and need some new perspective. There’s a big world out there with demand for librarians, so, should you take the leap?

Many will fantasize about the prospect of living in a foreign land and immersing oneself into an exotic and fascinating culture. Expanding the job search beyond your native lands can be great for daydreaming, but have you really given it thought? It takes a certain amount of bravery to leave the homeland and comforts of the familiar. There have been many an expat adventurer who romanticized their next professional endeavor on foreign soil only to realize three months in that maybe it wasn’t what they believed.

If you are seriously considering an international career it is imperative that you be honest with yourself. To say one should be “flexible” is an understatement, but for lack of a better word, yes, you should indeed be flexible. And adaptable. And agreeable. And able to go-with-the-flow and roll-with-the-punches because when you are far from what you know, you have to accept and understand that not everyone is going to do things the way you do them. You should be willing to embrace the unknown, and if that’s where you are, then perhaps it is right for you.

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 21 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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