I plan to be writing a few entries about my new library job search. Now that I'm no longer unemployed, it's easier for me to share my job-seeking efforts. My major challenge is that my current job is very draining on me. Working on phones all day, making myself be upbeat and helpful and competent for every single caller is something that I need to recover from, way more so than working in an academic library or corporate research department. That recovery time eats into the time I could be using for my job search, blogging, creative writing and other endeavours.
One thing I am very aware of now: How easy a job is has very little relation to where it fits on the pay and prestige scale. Yes, some high-powered jobs are very difficult and stressful, but if you downshift down the ladder, the stress and difficulty are just as likely to increase than decrease. Now I am more aware that I have it very easy compared to people with the really shitty jobs. Working in fast-food, abbatoirs (the obscenely euphemistic Australian word for slaughterhouse), telemarketing (no, I don't any of that, thank God) etc. Although WorstJob.com is American, it's a relevant reminder that things could be a lot worse.
Anyway, I have started my next job search. Even if it weren't for the whole "I'm really a librarian" thing, Vodafone and I aren't soul-mates. I think I do my job pretty well for someone who's quite new to this sort of work. I am very conscientious to do the best thing for the customers who call me. This is also my weakness - because I am very thorough, my calls (and associated follow-up work) take longer, and so I take fewer calls than other people. Although they're not hassling me about these things right now, still being new, I know it will be a problem further down the track. That's why I'd like to get out before this happens.
My new job search has two components. Firstly, I am resigned to the fact that if I want to work as a librarian in Tasmania, I will have to play the networking game. I have learned that since I returned to Tasmania, there have been a couple good (in terms of what might have been a good fit for me) library jobs which have been filled, which were not advertised at all anywhere. As I've said before, I am very uncomfortable with networking as a job-seeking method, and believe that it is more about nepotism than finding the best qualified person. Nonetheless, Tasmania is a very nice, heart-stoppingly beautiful place to live, and I would like to stay here and work as a librarian. So I'm going to give this a real attempt.
Because I have such little faith in my chances of finding a library job in Tasmania, via networking or any other means, I will also be applying for library jobs on Mainland Australia. Tasmania is lovely, but there are also nice spots on the Mainland - and certainly better jobs! I now realize that this is important.
Both searches will take time and energy. For the Mainland jobs, the usual work of creating and monitoring my automated job searches, tailoring my resume, writing cover letters, addressing selection criteria and travelling to attend interviews, if I get that far. In Tasmania, meeting informally with certain key people to let them know that I'm here, and I'd be very qualified if a vacancy ever arose. Then following up to maintain my visibility.
Which approach will work out first?