Career mojo

think again by notsogoodphotography via flickr CC

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.

Fiona writes:

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.

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6 responses

  1. Great post and thanks for the mention 🙂

  2. i often feel like this – there is a lot of things i love about libraries. but i get restless, frustrated, and, well… BORED, very easily. i feel as though i am stagnating in my current job, and struggle to feel passionate about what i am doing.

    it tends to cycle for me – i’ll have times of deep frustration, and then times of tolerance. i guess it comes down to waiting, putting in ‘the hard yards’, seeking opportunities, and trying to keep as positive as attitude as possible.

    1. *sigh* of course you’re right…. I do just need to be patient. I’m always telling my kids that instant gratification isn’t all they think it is, perhaps I could practice what I preach? This whole career thing is (re)new to me, having had 18 years out of the full time workforce I’m struggling with what is supposed to happen now.

      1. i tend to think, wait it out. if you are still, unbrokenly frustrated in six months, step up your plan. otherwise, develop a relatively solid career plan, and work to that.

        people are often surprised how strict mine is, given how lax i tend to be – (ie, stay at NLA for three years, regardless – do not take a pay cut for a ‘better’ job, Conferences and PUBLISHED! get published! keep up regular environmental scans of industry… ) the career is new to me – only New-new – and damn, i am often climbing the walls – and set my career back by years through making some very stupid mistakes – but i tend to find patience is the virtue.

  3. I have found that if I’m feeling bored then it’s time to a) take on some new project even if I have to make it up or b) look for further positions. It may be bad timing but remember you do have the advantage of some experience under your belt now which to most employers is a big plus 🙂 It may take time, but in my experience there will be something turn up. Sometimes it is actually within the institution you are already in.

    1. Wise words Penny. Looking to move on is my current option, having pretty much invented projects all year I’m running out of ideas!

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