by Veda Darby Soberman, Head Editor, INALJ Hawaii
Seeking a Library Job While Employed
Many of us are lucky enough to be in the process of hunting for our dream library jobs while currently employed either in another library job or at a job in a different field. Even if you think you already have your dream library job, don’t rule out the possibility of finding something even more ideal. There are some challenges which come along with job hunting while employed, but with some tact and forethought, career disasters can be avoided and success achieved. Here are a few tips if you are on the job search while employed:
1. Use your time wisely. Schedule time to conduct your search at least 3-4 times per week. Take time to search before or after your workday. Never conduct your job search while at work.
2. Don’t tell, and do tell. In general, it is best not to tell your co-workers or employer that you are seeking a job. This could bring into question your loyalty to your current organization. However, you will want to let those trustworthy individuals in your professional network know that you are in the market for a new position. Use discretion, also, in what you reveal on your social networking sites.
3. Be present. While you have an eye to the future, it is important to also maintain focus on your current job. Continue to do your best in your present position. You want to maintain your professionalism, so that when the time comes, you can leave on good terms. You want to avoid burning bridges, even if you are in an unhappy work situation. Also, continue to take advantages of opportunities for growth at your current job. Even if you are not working in the library field, continued education or progressively responsible duties will only add to your desirability as an employee.
4. Plan to answer the tough questions. Be prepared with an answer if you are ever confronted with this question by a co-worker or employer, “Are you looking for a new job?” You will also want to be ready to answer the related job interview question, “Why are you looking for a new position?” Prepare a short answer centering on professional growth or career development. Think about it before you are caught off guard, and definitely do not mention anything negative about your current employment situation.
5. Don’t feel guilty. It is easy for us to become attached to and comfortable with our situations. You may love your current co-workers and the organization, and distress about potentially leaving them behind, but your career and future are your own. Loyalty is a desirable trait, but you must do what you can to achieve your professional goals. Don’t sell yourself short. Be courageous, and seek greater opportunities.