I’m not a newgrad anymore. I’m not a new librarian either…even by the very generous “10 years since graduation” rule. In the scheme of things, I’m probably more in the vein of “mid-career” or “middle-aged” or even “mid-life” though no crisis in sight so far, I’ve have had far too many of those thrust upon me in recent years.
I’ve spent a decade as a professional student, many years at uni, going from one benefit to another: austudy or the dole. Years of employment and rejection. A decade or so back I’d write crap job applications and in hindsight was lucky to get an interview when I did. I’ve known of folk who have lots of job interviews and while I’ve had a reasonable chunk myself, it’s not been too bad either.
I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a friend at work, and I was looking back on the last decade. Most of it, was spent in the one job, Gale for just over 7 years. At the start, was the tail end of my time at Bankstown Library, followed by my first period at the State Library of NSW (SLNSW) working for NSW.net and Ilanet, finishing with my current stint at SLNSW. In that time I have been for 7 jobs…I think, perhaps one or two more. Of those 7, all but the first application led to interview. The first was a crappy application; that was my fault and was when I finally understood that my applications were crap. Of the remaining 6, I got the job for 4 of them; one of the jobs I missed out on, at the London office of Gale, I came second. The last two jobs I applied for I got. That frightens me a little.
The other thing of course is that I’ve only been for 7 jobs in 10 years as distinct from my early days when I went for a lot more jobs and had a lot more failures. For now at least, I have the luxury of being cautious about the positions I go for. Perhaps there’s a relevancy in that I’m only going for jobs I really want and care about. I have difficulty applying for a job that I don’t want. Part of the process in applying is building a convincing case of why I should get the job. If that case is convincing for me, so too for the interview panel.