Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Jobs? Anyone?

Sometimes I just cannot believe that I picked yet another career path that seems to lead directly to the poor house.

When I decided to go to library school, everyone was saying "There will be so many JOBS when you graduate! All the "old" librarians will be retiring, and/or refusing to get on board with the technology." HA!

When I left my job as a Program Director of an adult literacy program to go to library school full-time, I was bringing home $1300 a month. I couldn't pay my bills, I never had any "extra" money for fun, and the job was never going to pay more than it was. It was a dead-end, so, even though I loved my job, I left it in order to "improve" my financial situation.

I now bring home $900 a month...

Don't get me wrong - I love my job, and I love my library. It's frustrating at times, especially since I really didn't anticipate working with teens, but, for the most part, it's a breeze. I love doing reference, I get along with the people I work with, it's an easy commute, and, for the first time in my professional life, my boss treats me like I have a brain.

But, I can't live on $900 a month - not even close. And because I have to work every weekend, it has been impossible to find an additional part-time job - professional or otherwise. Part-time work always requires nights AND weekends - weekdays are reserved for full-time employees. Sigh. The stress of being this broke is starting to take a toll on my nerves - every time I have to ask my partner for money, I get a migraine.

I have thought about relocating, but I really don't want to - this is my home, and I love it here. I'm not fresh out of college with no strings to tie me down - there are strings when you are, um, not 20 anymore.

In the state of RI, I have seen LESS THAN 10 full-time REFERENCE positions advertised during the past two years. Just about evey job has been for children's librarianship or directorships. Working with teens is challenging enough for me - considering that my hope was to do academic reference, working with toddlers is NOT what I want to do (nor would I be good at it - I don't have kids for a reason). As a new librarian, I am not qualified to be a director - and again, I am a reference person, not an administrator.

There is a full-time YA position in the state, and I am applying for it - mostly because I feel like I have to. If I got the job, it would mean moving, as it is more than an hour's commute. I'm not sure what it would mean for my relationship, as my partner has no interest in moving to almost CT. It would mean completely branding myself as a YA librarian, which would probably be career suicide, if my goal is adult reference in either a public or academic library. Sigh.

The only thing that makes me feel better is knowing that I am not alone. I know of several people in my position, working part-time, struggling to make ends meet - and applying for the same two jobs that I am!

So, if you know of anyone getting ready to retire from a RI or SE Mass library, let me know - I need all the help I can get.

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