Over the weekend I read a post from Fiona at A work in progress that has got me thinking about my career mojo.
The blogosphere has been full of posts about what it means to be a librarian, what LIS students need to know, (here and here) and whether our university courses prepare librarians adequately or appropriately. I’m sure this flurry of writing coincides with the new academic year in the US and the end of the academic year here in Australia. Add into the mix some doom and gloom about the future of the library as we know it (job cuts and library closures in the UK being the focus of Roy Tennant’s Digital Libraries post this week) and it’s no wonder that graduates like Fiona and myself feel a bit dazed and confused.
Now I’m in a horrible limbo land. I’ve finished my course. I am officially a graduand. But I’m yet to find work in a library and am feeling my tenuous grip on the pulse of librarianship slipping away by the day. It’s not that I’m not still reading blogs and articles and tweets from fabulous librarians and educators. It’s not that I’ve lost any of my passion for sharing information and helping to connect people to the information that they need. It’s just that without papers to write or a library job to go to it’s all feeling very abstract.
For a variety of reasons I didn’t work in the library industry while I was studying for my library qualifications, so I completely understand the disconnect Fiona is feeling. Now, a year after finishing my course and with almost a year of full time work in the profession under my belt I’m feeling a bit the same again.
MPOW is full of wonderful, caring and genuine folk but as an OPL in a very small educational institution I’m starting to feel the restlessness kick in. I will always be grateful to my current employer for the opportunity they gave me as a graduate to take this position and for the opportunities for professional development and advancement of my skills that they have allowed me to take while working here, but I’m eager to take my new found skills and apply them in the wider libraryland.
Like Fiona, I’m back in a bit of limbo-land. It’s completely the wrong time of year here to be looking for a new job, not only am I competing with the fresh, new crop of graduates but the long holiday shuts a lot of things down now until the end of January. In a way, I’ve also shut down. I love reading about the fabulous things that others in my PLN are achieving in their workplaces but it’s mixed with wishing that I had the opportunity to do/implement/experience some of those things too, which just induces more restlessness.
I have leave over Christmas and into the New Year. I can only hope that when I return from leave, some of my career mojo is back.
While this blog is meant to be recording such things as may be suitable to appear on my CV one day, I am taking the opportunity today to write about some of our students. One of the programs we run here at MPOW is called SMIPA. It’s a professional year program under the skilled migrant policy designed to assist accounting graduates in Australian cultural and workplace readiness and the all important final extra points needed to gain their PR (permanent residency for those of you not immersed in DIAC acronyms and abbreviations all day long like I am).
SMIPA is a great program. It runs for 45 weeks (part time, 2 days a week) and includes a 15 week internship out in the real workforce in the middle of it. We are certainly not the only SMIPA provider in the country, and nor do we run this program as a community service. Make no mistake, it’s profitable program and the competition for student dollars is very fierce.
Today, our 4th SMIPA cohort graduated. Within a week, these young adults will be able to submit their final PR applications and go on to enjoy their life in Sydney with a bit more certainty than they had under their student visas. While all our SMIPA students have at least an undergraduate degree and usually a Masters, this particular cohort of 15 were a particularly intelligent, lively, articulate, funny and friendly bunch of people and I sincerely wish them all the best in their endeavours. MPOW will be much quieter without them around.