Many of you are probably getting ready to start the job hunt, and you have spent eons thinking about how you will handle yourself when you go on interviews. If you are really proactive you will have already done some mock interviews. If so, good job. It’s tough to prepare for an on-site or phone interview any other way. I was incredibly lucky to have a wonderful friend during grad school who had been a performer that was able to always keep a straight face and really make me feel like I was in the hot seat (thank you, Jose).
However, I wonder how many of you have thought about what you will do once you have a job. I can tell you now that it is not like any of your student jobs. Because there is a sheltering quality to student jobs, and the major reason for this is that you are held accountable on a different level. I know that as a student worker you have responsibilities, but when it is actually your job it feels different. Because there is no one else to take the heat for your mistakes. There are also fewer times that you will be told exactly what they need you to do. You will have to navigate those shark infested waters yourself. It is only after starting my first professional position that I realize how important it is to be a so-called “self-starter.” I saw it many times during my job hunt in descriptions, but I rolled my eyes at the cliche. Listen better than I did.
I have started the always awesome process of packing up my apartment in preparation for the move. I signed a lease yesterday for a 2 bedroom duplex which is most importantly dog-friendly and I will hopefully be able to move in asap. But….first I have to pack. Moving is an awful experience where you are forced to review every purchasing decision you have made, and I will tell you that I do not approve of my former self’s decisions. Did I really need to buy Hot Shots on dvd? The most incredible part is that I apparently not only thought it was necessary, but I also needed Hot Shot Part Deux. It is as good as it sounds. If my DVD collection is bad though, my closet was worse. I finished cleaning it after several hours, 3 bags of trash, and 1 bag of goodwill clothes. I swear the music from Psycho played in my head when I opened the door. It was the place I was dreading the most to clean, so I did it first. And I have learned my lesson on saving old articles from classes. I will most likely not ever read those again, and if I do…I will read it on the computer or end up printing off a fresh copy (not very green of me, I know).
Aside from the enormous quantity of crap that I possess, everything is going just swimmingly. It almost scares me that it’s going so well. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. However, I wanted to pass along some advice that an awesome librarian gave me to those still looking for a job. “Try to enjoy the rest of the summer and relax. You will work for the rest of your life and will never have this opportunity again. Once you get a job, it will move so quickly you won’t even get to experience the joy of that because you will be going nuts getting things ready.” I didn’t pay attention to the wisdom of that when she said it because I just wanted to get a job. But, she’s right. I haven’t really had a moment yet to process everything. I am beyond pleased that I have gotten a job, but I have been running around like a crazy person getting ready to move and it’s been an experience to say the least. So….if you are still among the ranks of library job seekers or are still in library school, I hope you can take my friend’s advice. She is great and someone should really benefit from her wisdom that I in my paranoid and panicked state was unable to appreciate.
Here’s hoping I find Mary Poppins bag and I am able to move as easily as she did.
Whew, it has been a really long and busy summer. It’s been really scary and there has been some disappointments, but overall I am thrilled with the results of my job search. I have recently accepted a position at Vincennes University’s Shake Library as their new Public Services Librarian and manager of access services. I’m excited that I will be getting such a wealth of experience in my first academic librarian position.
Vincennes University Logo
The good, the bad, and the ugly from my job hunt
However, I did want to give you a few tips and examples based off of my job hunt experience which included: 7 phone interviews (one is still pending because I did it the day I was offered my job) and 5 on-site interviews.
During this process, I had a phone interview with lovely people bad enough that I knew I would NEVER hear from them. I had wonderful phone interviews that I knew would lead to on-sites. I went on on-site interviews where I loved the people but the job wasn’t a good fit. I was asked illegal questions and had people violate HR and my privacy (immediate red flag/never accepting this position). I found out whether I was getting jobs via gossip (this should not happen if HR policies are followed). I witnessed terrible work environments where people were snide and outright rude to their colleagues. I had a dean fall asleep during my presentation (don’t worry…I was assured that he does that during every presentation).
I had cell phones go off during job talks, and I watched people text during my presentations which was really disheartening. So, I guess what I am getting at is that every library and university is different. Despite their background or prestige, the university is run by people who are only human and will make mistakes or might be having a bad day. And going into my job hunt, I didn’t realize how critical it is for you to be critical of the university. You have to remember that you will be working with these people for at least a year or so. Be careful not to take a job just because of the pay or because you are afraid. There are jobs that I am grateful I wasn’t offered from my search because I would have had to turn them down.
So here are my quick and dirty tips for on-site interviews:
- Do your research. I don’t mean look at their mission statement and resources–you should do that for a phone interview. I mean you need to devour their internal documents if you can find them and read any recent articles by committee members. 12 hours is a long time. You will be glad you have something to bring up.
- Remember you are interviewing them too. Once you reach the on-site stage of interviews, they are just as much under the microscope. Everyone should be on their best behavior.
- Mind your manners and watch theirs. I saw some gross stuff. Seriously.
- Don’t expect that you will hear back from everyone. Don’t get me wrong, they SHOULD at least let you know, but they don’t always. One of my interviews is still pending from months ago. I expect to hear back sometime between the next presidential administration and never.
- Try to be yourself and remember they are just people too.
I think that pretty much sums it up! I am going to go back to packing up my apartment because I start my new position in three weeks….not much time. I hope you all are well!
I have officially be a graduate for nearly a month now. I’m already bored. However, I have also been really fortunate to have been going on on-site interviews. Now that all of my interviews are complete, I am playing the waiting game. No one mentioned how painful this portion of the hunt is. I feel like a dateless person on a Saturday night waiting on a phone call. It’s miserable. That being said though, I have met some really wonderful people in the last month and had generally awesome experiences. The people in library land are awfully friendly. However, I definitely have a favorite. I’ll let you know if that works out
So the question is what should I do with my free time right now? I still have three jobs at IU that I am working, but I don’t have any homework to fill up the rest of the time. I have established a pretty intensive reading/catching up on sleep schedule. That’s been perfectly lovely, but I think that it is contributing to my boredom. So, I’m going to make a list of things that I can do to relieve said boredom:
- Draw and Paint: I used to do this all the time and loved it.
- Take my dog on walks during the day. It will be good exercise for both of us.
- Watch movies….Sadly there are a ton of DVDs that I have purchased in the last three years and never had time to watch. So while it’s not technically free entertainment, the cost is behind me.
- Clean my hovel of an apartment and start packing it up. Even though I don’t know where I’m going, I still have to move out by the end of July.
- Make more lists….this is taking forever. I was never an avid list maker. I think that’s a trait oldest children typically adopt (I’m the middle kid).
I think this is a pretty good place to start. I like having a plan, so this will help immensely. Being on the job hunt is to be in a terribly dark place and given that I like having a plan, it’s all the more dark. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that one of my on-site interviews will pan out
Hugs and high-fives!
Given that I finally graduated yesterday, I felt a new blog title was in order. Nothing crazy, just a little more appropriate. Plus I have been awful about posting in the last two weeks. However, I have been busy interviewing for actual jobs. I’m not saying that my graduate school part-time positions aren’t real, but they won’t keep the bills paid. So anyway, I have reached the point where I should officially start worrying about jobs! Even though I have interviews, I am still scared as any sane person would be.
But I am going to wait until Monday to worry. Because I graduated, baby!