by Angela Piccola, Assistant, INALJ Virtual Work
Gaining New Perspectives During Hiring Woes
When I found INALJ, the amount of resources and overall camaraderie almost overwhelmed me because it showed there is hope in this field. With the lists of alternative career keywords that fit within our skillset and the pages of updated jobs, it means so much to know there are possibilities. The amount of new graduates and seasoned veterans in the job market makes seeking employment a daunting task. No matter what an individual’s skillset there is still someone out there that can best them based on their differences. Resources like INALJ help to create a competitive edge on our peers by giving us the power of information and the ability to create a net of opportunities.
The first time I pursued employment in this field, I was met with a lot of rejection. I tried to revamp my resume and use better keywords to describe my work experiences. I started volunteering my time at a local library just to be considered for anything. Months went by and I did not receive a single response a Manager or someone from the Human Resources department. I gained great skills but grouped it with the rest of my failures because I was unable to find employment. I joined online round tables for ALA and went to my local chapter’s meetings to just network more to find openings. It helped a little to find other passionate people within the field in person, but it still felt like my resume was overlooked with each application I submitted.
At this point, I was applying to every job in the area spanning 50 miles or more from my home; basically I was getting pretty desperate. Opportunity finally called and I got exactly one response back. Having only one chance to prove myself set my nerves to a heightened level. I rehearsed different question scenarios and went over every skill I obtained from volunteering. Using the knowledge I learned from volunteering on top of the classes I had taken, helped me to become the ideal candidate. I luckily got the job, but I still wonder what my future prospects will be when I have to make any career changes. Now that I have more experience will I have to be prepared for the possibility of months without work?
Our field is about finding the niche we can make a place for ourselves. Whether it’s archives, public, academic, or something completely out of the normal roles, our careers are what we make of them. Creating a new version of ourselves with each venture gives a whole new perspective on growth and achievement. Even working full time and going to school full time, I still try to find as many opportunities as possible to fit in. We must contribute to this field to make ourselves relevant and create a track record of being a trailblazer.