Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hvordan har du det i kveld?

Tonight the first Presidential debate is on television and I am choosing not to watch.  I am of the opinion that it serves nothing more than entertainment value in that we get to see the top candidates together in the same room for the first time.  Because really, does anything of substance or even truth come up?  No.  It is just another opportunity to shout out buzz words and avoid addressing the questions that everyone would really like answered.  Honestly.

Plus, I have already voted.  Absentee, if you must know, which really was the only thing I could do given the fact that a visit to the polls on election day in my precinct would involve taking a good chunk of time away from work and a LOT more time in the car than I care to do on a week day.

I have to tell you, it feels good to be part of the electoral process.  I really cannot understand why anyone would forgo the privilege. 

But onwards and upwards.

I have been doing a lot of pondering in recent days.  This is largely due to some slower work day schedules that involve a lot of waiting for things to happen and/or work properly, but it has also been brought forth by some correspondence and reading I have done.

As my mind swirls with the supposedly endless array of future endeavors in my life, I find myself seriously considering the option of not going into the library field.  Before you start freaking out, hear me out.  I now work for a fairly large company.  Large as in 65,000+ coworkers across the country.  This company is very devoted to employee engagement and provides numerous benefits and opportunities for life enrichment.  I have already started to entrench myself into some of these activities through volunteer work and seminars.

I am not an idiot.  I do realize that many of these engagement activities are specifically designed to make it hard for people to contemplate leaving the company.  That is no great secret. 

But it truly is the first time that I have been part of such a plan.  And you know what?  It's nice.  Really, really nice. 

So when I start to consider the library option, I have to pause and think long and hard about it.  Sure, I spent time and money on graduate school.  But I have the degree.  It isn't going anywhere.  I learned a lot from my training and there is no reason I cannot apply the principles of librarianship to another field.  It makes me unique. 

One of the very unfortunate side effects of the underfunding of libraries is that they can not afford to pay out much or many salaried positions.  This makes the potential job pool much smaller and much more competitive.  It is really hard to consider jumping out of the comfort and potential of my current company to leap into a lower paying, higher stress and very uncertain field.

It appears that I am not alone in this feeling. 

Last week, I noticed a former library school friend of mine post a cryptic status wondering about how to make the decision between stability in a job that is perhaps not as thrilling and a part time/short term "dream" opportunity.  I inquired further and received a private response.

My fellow library school grad has been working on contract with another large MN-based company.  Said company is poised to offer her permanent employment, but she is slightly uncomfortable in the corporate environment (as are many who are attracted to librarianship).  There is a grant-funded short-term part-time archival position open at the largest library in Minneapolis, and while she has not technically been offered the job, it sounds extremely appealing to her. 

If she gives up on the corporate job, she knows that the library work will end in six months, leaving her with only the experience on her resume to show for it.  If she stays at the corporate job, she could make more money and potentially find something within the company that suits her better in the future.

Do you see the similarities?  So I am not alone.  I will need to decide what I want to do and where I want to try to be.

But now to switch gears, I want to publicly mull over an article that I read recently.  It was a dating themed article, written by a man and it related to his own personal philosophy of how to have a fulfilling love life.  Not a how-to on finding a boyfriend or husband.  Just some ideas based on his own experiences.

One of the interesting points he made centered around the idea of having value.  Bringing something useful to a relationship.  Not dating to seek validation.  Making it a fair trade.

While it is not likely that reading this will drastically alter my dating status, it does have some helpful components that could relate to other areas of life.  In my case, it helped me to shift my focus in my internal discussion about my career options.  Time will tell if this paradigm can help me make any meaningful decisions.

In other news, I am four weeks into my Norwegian language class, and I love it.  It is definitely worth the money, the drive and the voyage into one of the sketchier areas of town.  Let me demonstrate some mad skills.

Hei!  Jeg heter Megan.  Jeg studerer Norsk.  Jeg kommer fra Minnesota.  Hvor kommer du fra?

OK, so most of these phrases I already knew from Norwegian camp 20 years ago, but if I get into the fancy stuff, I will need to figure out how to change the keyboard to include the extra Norwegian letters.  And it is too late on a Wednesday night to mess with that.  I have three sleepy puppies who I need to tuck into bed, so with that, God Natt!

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