It’s been seven months since I last updated this blog that, at the time I made it, I had planned on updating weekly on my job hunting progress, movies I had seen and loved, and art that I admired. Ha! When I created this about two years ago I had recently moved back from Pittsburgh and in with my parents after getting my Master’s degree, was working at a retail store an hour away from where I lived, and prayed every night that the next day I would hear back from one of the dozens of library job applications I had sent out that week. I was one of the lucky ones in the statistics that got a (part-time) librarian assistant job (an hour away from where I lived) exactly six months after graduating with my degree. To put this in perspective, roughly three months before graduating I applied to about 30 jobs around Pittsburgh. When that didn’t work out, I moved back home and over a period of six months I applied to nearly 150 jobs across the entire United States of America. The first thing my professors told us in our classes was, “if you want a job, you must be willing to move anywhere.” Do you know how long it takes to fill out an online application nowadays, not including your resume and specializing your cover letter to that specific position?? I only heard back from three. Two of them were from the same library system, and all three of them were in a 60-mile radius from my parents’ home. By nothing less than the Grace of God I was somehow promoted to a full-time librarian within 11 months of being hired – something that does not typically happen here.For the record, I would like to add that I believe the “moving” thing is B.S. because now that I’m in a large public library system I can’t imagine them considering anyone across the country that isn’t already planning on moving here, and doing a Skype interview instead of in-person. What they should say instead is: “if you want a job, you must be willing to move out of a city with a university that offers a Master of Library and Information Sciences program because that high level of competition for small numbers of open positions is nearly impossible to beat.”
Why did I start that rant? My last post was about resolutions and I’m failing at nearly all of them. Including updating this site.
I’ve learned over the years that I set a lot of goals for myself and I’m barely making a 50-50 completion rate with them. Completing school is something I couldn’t fail at. Job searching is something I wouldn’t let myself fail at, because there was absolutely no chance that I would settle on staying in retail “waiting to find the right library position for me” when each month that goes by not in a library means my skills I just spent all that time earning were at risk of being lost. In order to keep skills you have to use the skills. What good is a degree if you haven’t used it in a year, and now what you’ve learned is already beginning to become outdated?
That’s about the extent of my personal goals that weren’t even an option to not accomplish. Now I set goals like this year’s “read 60 books this year (or five per month)”. When I made that goal for myself on Goodreads I thought, that’s so many! That’s more than one book a week! Then I became Goodreads friends with other people that work in my library system and saw their goals of 160 books a year, and my number 60 seemed like a cartoon balloon flying around a room deflating itself until falling into a pitiful tiny lump on the floor.
Other goals fall aside when “life” gets in the way. For a couple months I get great at studying german for an hour a day a few times a week, and then when work starts to get crazy I shift focus away for too long and lose a lot of what I learned. I start building up my cardio to get to 3 miles without stopping and then health issues arise for weeks at a time and I end up way back at the starting line again.
No matter what, I won’t stop trying to grow and learn and become a better version of myself. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read 160 books a year unless I’m unemployed or retired – that doesn’t mean reading 60 isn’t an accomplishment. I may never actually learn more than the bare bones of german, but I can keep reading about its art and culture and history that I love so much. Not reading enough, not being bilingual, not being able to eventually run a marathon someday doesn’t make me any “less”. Comparison is the thief of joy. Though I may feel like a failure a lot times, I know that you only really become a failure when you stop trying – I just need to become a lot better at remembering that in the moment.