Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back In Business

It's amazing what a good job interview will do to raise your spirits.

Tuesday I journeyed out to a distant Maricopa County suburb. Wende will name it in 3 seconds--Northwest Valley exurb in its first stage of development, filled with young families and anchored by retail, tripled its population in 10 years. Ohioans--think Medina without the Amish. Potential job is as an Adult Services Librarian, doing reference, readers advisory, programming, collection stuff. What everyone thinks of when you say you're a librarian, as opposed to my other information work positions. Aces and I went out on Saturday to check it out, and I was impressed. I could see myself working there, and the library system has a history of innovation, and you know me--I like chaos and variety and change.

The whole day started out well, with Dusie giving me her recruiter pep talk after working out, telling me that I was so much more confident than I was before my last library interview in April, I looked good, I'd do well.

And I did. It started out when I walked in and they put me over by the new bestsellers to wait and an older fellow struck up conversation with me, a conversation that pulled in his wife and lasted a good 5-10 minutes until just before they called me in and included the question "Do you work here? You should work here!" and my response of "I hope to--I'm here for an interview!"

It was a standard behavioral question interview panel session with the HR person, the branch manager and the adult services supervisor. After a few of my answers I got some "good answer" and there was just good energy and response--I could feel it. And I was my enthusiastic, cheerful self, the self that I know isn't to everyone's taste but it's who I am and when I try to hide it or suppress it I wind up miserable and failing.

I asked what it was about my resume/background that piqued their interest, since it is a little...odd, and they said they had a lot of applicants with academic library experience, but the fact that I had public library experience made me stand out. So then I talked a little bit about the switch, how I had a job where I sat in a cubicle miserable (for various reasons I did not get into) and that forced me to think about my skills and personality where they would fit best. I have brains in abundance, I think fast and on my feet, I like to talk to people and they like to talk to me, I'm flexible, cheerful and enthusiastic, good in an emergency and people's weirdness doesn't freak me out. So it finally hit me--public librarianship. They liked that.

So I am very hopeful, and I should know today or tomorrow. And even if I don't get the job it was a fun conversation, triggered memories of other good anecdotes that illustrate my wonderfulness, and it was good practice. And I applied for other positions that I hope to hear back about soon.

What I wore:

My tan interview suit which did fit a lot better than before, my light blue sweater underneath, tiger's eye earrings, brown shoes (closed toe, without stockings--I just couldn't find anything brown and business sandal-like around here that I could afford). The self-tanner proved to be a mistake when Jesse X and I met up with Dusie at the airport to switch her bags and she gave me a weird look and asked "Did you put on self tanner?" It was like the looks I got the time I gave myself a chemical burn trying to use Nair to clean up my eyebrows. I also sprung for the Dusie approved light colored manicure, a pedicure and eyebrow wax for $36--I had to pay that for a pedicure only back in Ohio. God, I love it here.


drwende said...

Excellent! You do sound like exactly the kind of person who should be working at a public library. The norm for librarians here, at least at the smaller libraries, seems to be out-and-out friendly; even the tattoo-wearers at Burton Barr are pretty cheerful.

Move mountains, if necessary, to keep your commute outside of rush hour, especially in mid-winter or rain. This makes a huge difference over that kind of distance.

Kerry said...

Thank you! That's so nice of you to say!

No, commute wise I'd be moving out there pretty soon. Even with little traffic, it's a bad drive and especially coming back after 9pm--I won't last, my car won't last, and I do believe it's easier to keep pulse on a community if you live in it. Terrible for dating, but the lack of things to do would be beneficial for my finances, and the nice thing about working alternate schedules is that you can visit sisters who keep odd hours themselves. I'm only allowed 4 months at the MM under Jesse X's SIL Amnesty program anyway.