by Sara Dixon, Head Editor, INALJ Kansas
previously published 9/25/13
4 Things to Do When the Job Wave Wanes
Lately, it’s been a bit slow on the Kansas page. I’ve noticed that jobs seem to come in waves – sometimes they to pour in, and then it tapers down to slight sprinkling. So what’s there to do when job wave wanes? Sometimes it’s so frustrating that you just want to go on a Netflix binge of [insert your favorite television show here]. But there are lots of other, more productive ways to spend that time. There may not always be a ton of jobs to apply for, but here are a few things you can do to keep sharp in the interlude.
1. Take a Massive Open Online Course. During my job search, I started the New Librarianship Master Class MOOC. I wasn’t able to finish it unfortunately, but it gave me a lot of great ideas and new ways to look at the profession. Ideas that I mentioned in my last job interview (the one that landed my current job), and I still consider the New Librarianship worldview in everything I do at my new library job. Even though the course officially ended in September, you can still access all of the lectures. And there are many other MOOCs out there. Check out Coursera or Udacity. You can find a course that will supplement your library experience and make you that much more desirable! Do you have a place you use to take online courses? Share it in the comments!
2. Brush up on a foreign language: I don’t know about you, but I took six years of Spanish through high school and college, and because I don’t speak it on a regular basis, could not hold a conversation to save my life. But if I just did some review, I would pick it back up (fingers crossed). Many jobs in many areas are looking for librarians that can speak Spanish. Mango is a subscription-based service that offers language courses. Several libraries already subscribe and patrons can use this service for free! In Kansas, the State Library offers it. For. Free. It’s awesome. See if a library near you offers this service.
3. Attend webinars: INALJ’s own Sarah Deringer (former Head Editor of INALJ Mississippi) keeps a calendar of free webinars on her personal blog! I’ve participated in a few and found them very informative and helpful. They cover a range of topics interesting to information professionals. Just make sure to double check the time zone so you don’t show up an hour or two late. Oops.
4. Network: Go to conferences! Join online discussion groups! Join library associations in your area! Take the slow time to really invest in working relationships with other librarians. There are countless ways to do this; you just have to be willing to put yourself out there. Get yourself a set of business cards, and start shaking some hands. You’ll meet some wonderful colleagues and, hey, it really is about who you know!