This is the second part of a post about looking for library work. Read part 1 here.
Looking for jobs
The first and most important thing to know about searching for a job when you don’t have one in the field you want, is that it’s the perfect time to try something else. You really have nothing to lose at this point, jobs are not forever, nor do they define you, so be bold and consider taking your librarian skills into the wild.
The second thing; short term contracts and casual work can be a lifeline at these times. They can keep money coming in, while giving you the time to find something permanent or work out what next.
Top job seeking tips
- Carve out time everyday to look for and apply for jobs but don’t do it all day unless absolutely necessary. Doing things for yourself that are not related to finding a job is important to stay well during this time.
- Keep weekends for weekends
- Work out your parameters e.g. I want full time or part time, I can travel this far everyday etc. There’s no point at looking at jobs that are too far away or won’t fit into your lifestyle
- Setting up alerts for all the major job seeking sites is useful but you need to manually search them as well. Broad keywords and generalised searches outside the normal parameters will help you find jobs that would fit your skills that you may not find otherwise. Think records and information management or even administration.
- Filters matter – if you want the broadest possible search think about the filters you do and don’t want at anytime
- Register with recruitment agencies for both library/GLAM and adjacent fields. Have a look at different recruitment agencies and see what kind of work they offer and if it’s something you are interested in, register with them
- If you are an ALIA member they send out a weekly jobs newsletter. If not it’s available on the website.
- The federal government has a temporary job register in lots of different areas, you can register with them for short term contracts
- Don’t be proud, you may have worked at a higher level but consider applying for jobs at a lower level especially if you are changing sectors. At this time it’s about new experiences and having money coming in
- Give yourself plenty of time for applications – key selection criteria are the devils own invention and take time to do properly. Also proofread, like your life depends on it
- Linkedin – get one or jazz it up if you haven’t already. You can set it up so you are open to recruiters, and sometimes they do contact you about jobs
Some job sites
Here’s a bunch of sites I checked almost daily while looking for work
- Ethical jobs – often has community development, research jobs for NGOs
- Individual council and university websites
- Federal and state government jobs sites
- Career one and Indeed
- Recruitment agency job sites
Why search broadly?
When I was unemployed, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to stay in libraries. So, broad searching with only basically parameters was about trying to find jobs that interested me in whatever field. But a phenomenon I have noticed is that sometimes library jobs are not categorised correctly so your library job search might miss these. Think about the filtering and add or remove as necessary.
A special note for women
When you read a job add that might be sideways or higher than where you are now, your first reaction is to assume you are not qualified. The single best piece of advice I ever got is, if you can do about 50-60% of the job, you should consider putting in an application. No really, you should.
So that’s it, all my knowledge about looking for work. Hope it helps you navigate the world of job searching in this industry. If you’d like me to review your CV or if you have questions please get in contact.
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