When seeking employment in these trying economic times, one has to be everything to everyone. The key is to create a melange of talent– a sort of “You need this?” “Of course I can do that!” approach. Cultivate every skill you ever learned, and showcase them is a way that make you indispensable. Case in point, among my library school classmates, I am back to editing, which is a place I never thought I’d be after library school– it’s a job. Jewish Friend is back working in an office lamenting how bored she is; a former event planner may be back working with brides; and a former pharmacy tech is working at CVS. It’s almost like library school never happened, yet the painful memories still haunt me.
After finishing the MLIS, we are all in the murky waters of over/underqualified. We are overqualified for paraprofessional jobs (jobs that don’t required a library degree), and underqualified for professional jobs compared to all of the other people who apply and have much more experience than we. I’m not saying that employers shouldn’t pick the best, most qualified person for the job, but doesn’t ANYONE want to take a chance on an unknown kid? We know how to use computers–for reals.
Recently I taught a screenwriting workshop at a public library. I had done a similar one last year, for teens, and when the assistant director of this library said she had heard good things and wanted me to do a program for adults– I jumped at it. It went really well, and since then I’ve tweaked it a bit and tried to pimp it out to other libraries (If you’d like to request my services, just comment on this blog and I will email you back).
It occurred to me immediately afterward, that I had been in a room with 20 wannabe writers who look to me as an expert. So naturally, as one does when one decides to claim expertise in a field, I had business cards made up to offer my editing services at a very reasonable rate (If you’d like to request my services, just comment on this blog and I will email you back). I now have one set of business cards announcing that I am a librarian, and one set calling me a writer/editor. The only problem is that the set that say writer/editor have a typo on them.
I misspelled my own email address, and now have a box of 250 cards that are unusable. In a moment of “Use every part of the buffalo/ lame high school artist” thought, I considered taking the fouled business cards, along with the small stack of rejection letters I’ve received, create some kind of sculpture thing. Of course immediately after having this idea, I realized I would not like to own such a piece of art, and also that this has been done before by many, many people. Also, I’ve ripped up all my rejection letters to date, so I’d have to wait for a new stack to come in.
I think I’ll read my Nancy Drew books instead.