Thursday, August 21, 2008

Librarianship Is My Bad Boyfriend

So maybe that dream about the job interview in Prescott was prophetic, as I got a postcard in the mail today informing me "other applicant's more closely meeting the needs of the city" were chosen for interviews. The grammar mistake was theirs.

As for the rest of my job hunt: I applied for the academic job up the mountain, but they did not even require a cover letter or any background information other than answers to the questions "Do you have a MLS?" "Do you have reference experience?" and "What is your desired salary?" I have little hope. I have an application out for a part time librarian position out where I interviewed unsuccessfully in April, but who knows. I was turned down for an interview at the unaccredited law school, but really, as it was an unaccredited law school I do not feel particularly bad about that. I had a second interview this week with the state and certainly hope for that, but do not know. I am still on the certification list for a couple of other jobs I applied to in The Large Library System That Is Still Hiring (as opposed to The Large Library System That Has No Money To Hire) but I don't have much luck with that system.

I just wanted to give a little background to my job hunt--I have been applying for any job out here that I am suited for since November. I apply mostly at public libraries because that's where I'm most effective and I do have experience in that area, and that's what's open. But I've also applied at special libraries, the community colleges, and ASU. I have 10 years of special libraries experience in varied industries which I think gets me the boot--I am an odd combination of overqualified, yet not qualified. And it doesn't help that when I started the degree 5 years ago, all the jobs that interested me required it and now--not so much. Thanks, deprofessionalization!

Yes, I also applied for a couple of jobs back in Ohio, but they were pretty special jobs, ones that made sense financially or emotionally/professionally. And I just as deliberately did not pursue other opportunities that would have trapped me.

I am at the point where I'm applying for library jobs that don't even require a MLS, but are also not paraprofessional--just deprofessionalized. I am also applying for any business analyst jobs that seem to fit my background, and admining up my resume. But I honestly am beginning to think that the whole Master's degree was the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot employment-wise.

So please, for the love of Mike, do not tell me any crap about how I haven't been looking that long, that you have to apply for hundreds of jobs before you get one, that to expect that my skills and degree should be applicable and saleable is an "entitled" attitude, that it should be so easy for me to get a job, or stay hopeful.

Just don't say anything. I don't want to hear it, and I may kick you in the shins.

In short, I am beginning to feel about librarianship the way I do about men sometimes--that what is wonderful about me is apparently not what is wanted, that only the younger, stupider and cuter need apply, and nothing good is ever going to happen again.

1 comment:

drwende said...

But I honestly am beginning to think that the whole Master's degree was the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot employment-wise.

Find me a woman in the current economy who DOESN'T feel that way about her graduate degree. (Doctors and lawyers need not apply.)

Master's degrees got used to screen applicants when times were good. Now that the economy is tight, everyone wants to hire at a lower point on the pay scale -- thus de-professionalization.

One reason I left teaching was that my Ph.D. made me too expensive to hire for adjunct positions. My most steady employer started cutting my course load as soon as I'd taught the 8 classes that guaranteed me an additional pay raise: they preferred to use a less-qualified instructor who cost them less. And this was to teach grad school!

Job-hunting in a tight economy is basically hell, and the system is designed to make you feel crappy about yourself. It is thus EXACTLY like dating in the modern world, as you're set up to feel GRATEFUL for getting what counts as maybe 50% of basic respect.