I graduated from library school with a second Master’s in Music History on May 15, 2011. On August 29, 2011, I began my first-ever grown-up-person job in my chosen career – as a reference/instruction librarian specializing in Human Development, Psychology, and Kinesiology! 6 weeks into this job, it amuses me when students occasionally come to me with interdisciplinary research projects that involve music. They tell me their musical topic somewhat uncertainly – either because they themselves are not that well-acquainted with research in music or they think that I am not – and I want to say: if you only knew.
I enjoy this psychology crash-degree I am getting. The way I see it, I am getting that psychology major I decided against way back in my sophomore year of college. I had spent my freshman year choosing between English, psychology, and sociology as my major, and even after choosing English, continued to pursue a psychology minor for another year before realizing that I would have to drop it if I wanted to graduate with the two Bachelor’s degrees I was already pursuing simultaneously. Now I am thankful every day that I took Psychology Research Methods before I decided that! Apparently, being an overachiever these days translates into “just achieving enough.”
I am using my real name in this blog, and also discussing real aspects of my very real job. I considered going the anonymous route, but really, I think it is folly to publish anything on the free web that I would not feel comfortable having everybody in the world know about and know that those thoughts belong to me. Anonymity? In 2011? In a networked digital medium? Hah! Furthermore, I think it is entirely possible to be honest without being inappropriate, and to pick and choose what I talk about in a public forum. So, in other words, my posts will be rant-free. Stream-of-consciousness sometimes maybe, but no stream-of-subsconsciousness.
For any of you out there who are still searching for jobs, library-related or otherwise, here’s the best piece of supportive advice I received as I was job-hunting: Hang in there. There is a job out there made exactly for you and your qualifications, and it will come along sooner or later and you will be the one who gets it. I heard this twice, perhaps, during my 6-month-long job search, and it was not phrased exactly like this, but that was the gist. And you know what? It’s true! There’s some self-fulfilling prophecy in there along the lines of “of course you eventually come to feel like the job you got was the one that really wanted you,” but I think it’s also more than that. A great deal of specialization is going on these days, both on the learning end in higher education and the job description end, and my recent job-searching experience suggests to me that employers really are looking for the plug-and-play employee, totally ready straight out of the box. You can probably tell from the metaphors I am using that I am not exactly fond of this trend. I’m not. But, generally speaking, I think it is true. There are so many well-educated (even over-educated) candidates for jobs now that I think hiring committees really are able to find the perfect candidate for just about any position they can dream up, assuming they cast their search net wide enough, that is.
So here’s my question for the rest of you who found jobs recently: Did you apply to any jobs that were not exactly spot-on for your qualifications, but were jobs that you believed you would have been competent at after a learning curve? If so, did you feel like (or know) you were a competitive candidate?