Thursday, February 23, 2012

A brief moment of clarity

Introspection is always helpful.  Taking a moment to step back and look at one's life, behaviors, hopes and habits can be very... illuminating, shall we say?

For the past, oh say, year or so I have been obsessed.  Mostly about my hopeful career change, but everything else that goes along with that theme could be included.  So focused have I been on getting out of my current situation and into my (hopefully) bright future that I have not paid very close attention to my methods.

True, I have carefully revised my resume as my qualifications have expanded.  Yes, I do take the time to construct a well-written cover letter for each position.  So far, it has all led to rejection.  Then I discovered a web article written by a librarian who went through a similar process seven years ago.  Even back then it seems that things were far from easy for new graduates.  Hundreds of rejection letters were not uncommon.

But she offered up some helpful advice.  I cannot recall every bit of it, but the piece that jumped out to me was the suggestion that I not apply to jobs that I do not really want simply because I am "qualified" for them. 

As a case in point, today I found a posting for a library director position way up in north on the Iron Range of MN.  I am somewhat familiar with the location, but it is quite a drive to get there.  In many ways, I am qualified for the position.  Plus there is the additional fact that the applicant pool may be slightly less vast than others.  I did my research and perused the library's website, looked into their published long range plan and ruminated on the relatively small-sized salary (for a director position). 

After all of this, I concluded that I would not submit my application for the job.  Could I do the work?  Yes.  Would it be interesting?  Sure.  Do I want this job?  Umm.... I don't know?

My answer to the final question is what fixed things for me.  Perhaps if the workload seemed more commensurate with the salary, I might have overcome my lack of interest.  In the past, this sort of conclusion would have made me sad.  Regretful, even.  But now?  I feel good!  I am limiting my options, but I am using better criteria. 

Like all things in life, patience is necessary.  When the right "one" comes along, everything will work.  Not only will the position excite me, but the application process will have a better outcome than a letter sent two months later stating the unsurprising conclusion that I have not been selected for further consideration. 

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