Job Hunt Update

I've been fairly restrained (at least by my standards) in talking about my job hunt on this blog  because I wanted to keep these details fairly low key for a variety of reasons, not least because I know that more and more employers do web searches for potential employers and you never know what might turn them off or change their mind, especially if you're blabbing every interview question they ask you or talking about them as potential employers.

I'm not hiding
the fact that I have a blog (why would I?) in interviews if it comes up
so I know I've told at couple potential employers about my blog – one I just mentioned it in passing and one I gave the web URL as we were talking about the potential of Web 2.0 technologies like blogs in library settings.  

You never know what might offend them or change their mind as I said but I'm also the guy who just did a
post about FTRW which included two of the most offensive words in our society unc*ns*r*d.  But then again, if an honest discussion on a topic like this offends a potential employer, it's probably not a place I want to work anyhow. 

So anyway, enough people have been asking me how it's going that I thought a fairly generalized update wouldn't hurt. 

(Obvious disclaimer: all of these thoughts and observations apply to my own situation.  Yours will very likely be completely different.)

Let's see – things were pretty slow at first, to the point that I went back to my “When Is The Best Time To Start at FIMS?” entry and added something about the time you finish being a factor as well.  “Be aware: if you convocate at Christmas, you might not see a job posting, let alone get an interview for a month or two.” 

It picked up in the last few weeks and I'm now at a point where I'm at various points in the interview process for four different jobs including one firm offer and one informal offer.  I've been upfront with all that I'm interviewing for a few different positions and all have been very understanding about my desire to hear from each one as to whether they're making an offer or not before I make a choice as I want to make the best possible decision I can obviously. 

For a guy who talked non-stop about his desire to work in public libraries for all of last year, it's going to be a much tougher decision than I ever imagined, even though only two of the positions are in public libraries while one is academic and one is government.  In fact, none is a clear front-runner in my mind right now and the thought of which one I would pick literally changes from hour to hour.  (When I got the dreaded “What are your weaknesses?” question in one interview, I could have easily answered that I can be indecisive when faced with hard decisions.)

Each jobs has advantages and disadvantages – some pay more, some have better hours, some have better benefits, some have more holidays, some have parking (seems like a small thing but it's one of those things you have to consider – not having parking is another $50-70/month in the budget.).  Some have more interaction with the public, some are more office based.  Probably another silly thing to factor into the decision but some would give you a real office, some would have you in a cubicle.  Some have a broad scope that would be incredibly challenging.  One would have had me start today if I could, one doesn't start for another couple months.  One is outside Regina.  Some are fairly independent or part of a small workforce, some are working as part of a large team with over a dozen other employees.  Some have supervisory roles.  Some require travel.  Some are very supportive of professional development.  One is an eighteen month contract rather than full-time permanent.  None have a dress code (beyond “dress professionally”) at least that I was told about.  (I didn't ask but this is another issue for me – I've always had an aversion to ties and if pressed, I'll say it's because I'm clautrophobic and will produce a doctor's note to that effect.  )  I think all said they were willing to give me time off around when the baby is born which was great as that will be a major part of my decision. 

So anyhow, it's getting closer and I would expect to have a final decision in a week or two.  Stay tuned…

(Slightly off-topic but what did all of you do with your degrees?  Mine arrived yesterday and it's a non-standard size – 17″x11″ – so I'm thinking I'll probably have to get it custom framed.  Damn UWO – costing me extra money one last time!)

Comments 6

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jason,
    Glad to hear the job search has picked up. Oh, as for those awkwardly sized UWO degrees, well it's too bad you're not in London, the last oddly-shaped piece of paper I earned at Western fits perfectly in a black steel frame (12 bucks) from Bijans (art supply store just off Richmond). Cheers,

    Posted 04 Mar 2007 at 1:01 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    That's fantastic that you've got multiple good options in terms of jobs (even if it is agonizing trying to make a decision between them!), and it's certainly positive news for those of us yet to graduate. πŸ™‚ Good luck choosing.
    Haven't gotten my degree from Western yet, but…when I do, I'll file it next to the piece of paper I got from UVic, which is currently sitting beside my high school diploma in a filing cabinet at my parents' house. I didn't frame them or anything. πŸ™‚ I am perhaps insufficiently sentimental about things like that. Oh, wait – I think my UVic degree actually *came* framed (and in an 8.5 x 11 frame, no less! jealous yet?), so I didn't have to do a thing. πŸ™‚
    Er, except, you know, maybe put it on the wall. Maybe I'll get to that eventually. But I druther have pretty pictures of spaceships and dragons taking up space on my walls…see: doubtless-unfortunate unsentimentality referenced above. Though if I had an office, I guess I might hang it up on a wall in there.

    Posted 04 Mar 2007 at 3:37 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm guessing that's a local shop, not a national chain? But that's a good tip anyhow – I'll check out the local art supply stores for a frame of that size.

    Posted 04 Mar 2007 at 7:47 am
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I think being in Saskatchewn helps a lot in the job hunt as there's not as many people competing for positions as there might be in the bigger cities (or in provinces that have a library school or two.)
    Like you, my undergrad degree is also filed away. It's in a frame in my closet (actually, I think it recently moved to our storage room so I'd have more space for relevant stuff – like various souvenirs of my year in Ontario.)
    The frame it's in is the cheapest one I could find at Zellers since U of R wanted $50 for one of their frames and I thought that was a lot just to have a frame with their logo on it.
    I'd probably get my MLIS degree framed too, more for protection than anything (especially given its awkward size which doesn't allow it to fit in a standard file folder.)
    But I'm not sure if it will eventually hang in my workplace. I've always believed that the only people who need to have their degrees hanging in their offices are doctors and other medical specialists. Otherwise, I'm not too concerned and willing to trust that the person in the office, whether it's a banker or a librarian, has the credentials they say they do.

    Posted 04 Mar 2007 at 8:01 am
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    I believe that is the more or less standard size for diplomas, which means any university will sell frames to fit it (usually in the bookstore). Certainly UWO sells appropriately sized frames, although they will charge a premium. Also, if you get the “official” (read: inflated price) frame it usually comes with an impossible-to-replicate matting with the university's crest. You know, if you roll that way. Personally, I am following Lauralee's suggestion, keeping all my degree neatly filed away–until I can afford the most ridiculously expensive official frames (UVic, e.g., has some “italian wood” ones for over $100).

    Posted 04 Mar 2007 at 3:50 pm
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Just an update on this point…Micheal's, the national craft store chain, has black or white frames for ~$40 (40-50% off if you catch one of their frequent sales.) I asked about getting a wood frame but then it's getting up to $300 ($150 with discount.) OUCH!

    Posted 08 Mar 2007 at 11:40 pm

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