Cleaning House: Preparing for a New Year

by Yandee Vazquez, Head Editor, INALJ Texas

Cleaning House: Preparing for a New Year

yandeevazquezcropped2014 is right around the corner, and with the parties and well-wishes come the slew of New Year’s resolutions. “Next year I’ll do ‘this’ better or ‘I’ll finally finish ‘that’ project.” I can be a little backwards, so what I like to do is make a resolution or two that I’ll keep by January 1st. It keeps me on my toes and I feel like I’ve finished off the year accomplishing something. Below are some of my pre-New Year Resolutions for 2014.

1. Take some time and look through resumes, cover letters, and references. See what’s outdated, what can be kept, what changes you’ve made, etc. This should be part of an on-going process, but sitting down and looking at your varying supplemental documents without a job in mind might help you spot some gaps that could use more coverage. When you’re looking at references, it’s important to verify information and possible changes in titles. If you’re check your references’ information before Christmas, it may even be nice to send them a card for the holidays if you do that sort of thing.


2. Sit and make a list of achievements, professional and personal. The professional will help you keep track of what you’ve done and you can update the list as the year progresses. This will really come in handy around performance evaluation time. If you feel that you don’t have anything to list professionally, work more heavily on the personal. When you’re looking for a job and can’t seem to find anything, remembering that you have grown and done awesome things personally can show you why you need to stay motivated. Make a list of goals that you can look forward to having accomplished. Most importantly, keep the list somewhere you’ll look at it often!


3. Look closely at your go-to interview outfit. Make sure there isn’t a stain you might have missed or a button that you never noticed came off. Inspect yourself in it critically to see if physical changes mean a different size or a different color combination. Is there some accessory you’ve told yourself you’ll get for the next interview? Maybe it’s a good time to get yourself a nice watch or tie.


4. If you’re currently employed, a good pre-new year task is to look over benefit information. Dental and health plans generally reset around either the new year or August/September. See what changes are coming or how you used your current benefits in order to prepare for future expenses. Also important is to review information regarding your retirement plan/account. Make sure that account is working the way you want it to.

Maybe I won’t completely accomplish them all by January 1st (though I highly recommend looking over #4 before the end of the year!), but at least I’ve started the New Year ready to jump into the job hunt!

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, 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.