We are all in the same boat

by Scottie Kapel, Head Editor, INALJ Oregon

We are all in the same boat

DSC_0269Hello, readers! I struggled with a topic for this blog post, initially planning to write about interview attire but ultimately deciding that many people who are better equipped to dispense sartorial advice than I have already covered this. While thinking about what I could possibly write that would be of any help to you at all, I was suddenly struck by the idea that we are all in the same boat. Every single one of us is either entertaining the thought of looking for a job or is already knee-deep in the application and interview process. I know, I know…how silly to be just now having this realization when I volunteer for a site dedicated to this very idea. But never before have I been part of a community so diverse yet similar and so widely dispersed yet closely knit committed to helping each other find employment.

For many of you, you’ve already got some experience in the field and are ready for a change of scenery. For others (and I myself am included in this group), you’re just finishing up your degree and are ready to see what opportunities await you. Either way, you aren’t alone in this search even though it can sometimes feel very isolating. For that reason, I’ve decided that I will use these posts as an opportunity to navigate the job hunt together. We will share victories small and large, frustrations (again, small and large), moments of brilliance in cover letter drafting, interview skills, and many more topics sure to arise as I dive deeper into the application and interview processes. To start off, I will give you a little information on my background as well as the most preliminary step I took in preparation to begin job-hunting in earnest.

I am in my final semester of my MLIS program with a specialization in archives, preservation, and records management at the University of Pittsburgh, and my ultimate goal is to be an archivist for the National Park Service. I have just begun dipping my toe in the job search waters, which has been both exciting and terrifying. One of the first things I did before applying to any job was to isolate what geographic region would be my ideal location, a little tip I learned after reading Naomi’s Success Story on Ryan Jones (conveniently reposted 2/13/13). I currently live in Florida, but given my position as the head editor for INALJ Oregon, it should come as no surprise that my ideal location is in the Pacific Northwest and Oregon in particular. Like Ryan, I’ve created a list of resources for jobs in the area and have spent a good amount of time getting a feel for the types of jobs available, the cost of living, and housing options, which is research I cannot recommend highly enough. The Oregon-specific resources you can of course find on the INALJ Oregon page, and I will constantly update the existing lists as I find new information.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you, and I hope to hear some of yours in return. Next month, the résumé!

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, 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.