The importance of confidence in a job search (or, how I changed my job search by changing my outlook)

by Brad McNally, Head Editor, INALJ Ohio

The importance of confidence in a job search
(or, how I changed my job search by changing my outlook)

brad.mcnallyI’ve been to many interviews and talked to a large number of potential employers during the last job search I completed. I noticed a strong change at one point along the way, and looking back, it makes a lot of sense.

When I finished my MLS I was working in a library and enjoyed a large part of the work I did there. Things were going well. I still kept an eye on job postings, because I would have liked to move upward, but I was having a good time putting on programs and working with children in that community. As I applied for jobs, I found that I often submitted my resume and information with one thought, “Hey, it would be nice, but they probably won’t ever even call.”

As time went on, I applied for a few jobs here and there but never got very far past a phone interview. I was discouraged. Out of the blue, I received a call for a phone interview with a large company that works with libraries. I thought it went great, but I hung up knowing that I wouldn’t hear back. Sure, I was hopeful, but deep down I knew. A funny thing happened though – I had learned a lot from the conversation, especially about myself and my professional plans. The manager pointed out that she noticed I seemed excited when I talked about my work with communities, and with young people, and wondered why I’d prefer a corporate type position anyways. She made good points.

From there, my interview skills got better and better.

It wasn’t because I was actually doing anything different, but I made a strong change in my attitude. The important thing to remember is this: if you have trained to go into a career, applied for the position you want, and even made it to the parking lot on the way to the interview, you need to tell yourself one thing. “I deserve this.” That was the change. It sounds selfish, but it is a nice positive affirmation that made all the difference in the way I presented myself, which helped me move forward into the place I am today.

I was recently told that the things we believe shape our reality. Find the job you want and that is right for you, and go for it. I’ve been told to believe in myself before, and in many ways it was nothing new, but I stopped viewing the job interview as a big scary thing that was coming and started viewing it as a way to show off that I was the best at what I do. It made all the difference.

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. 


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