Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I have been looking for work for a couple months in earnest. So far a few bites but nothing to write home about

Do I care?

You know I don't know. I sit down to write applications and I am less than enthused. Now if someone offered me a job on a silver platter tomorrow I know I would polish up and shave all over and present myself bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Hell if my old job came calling -- and they do call about every two weeks to say how much they miss me which is nice. If my old job came calling I would leap into action and leave the Mother-Woman behind. But I like being Mother-Woman full time. At this point I struggle to get excited about telling someone how effective and dynamic and effing visionary I am as an employee. Let's face it I have babies to hold so their parents can eat with two hands. I have an imp addiction to feed with snotty nosed kisses. In front of me stretches at least one to two years of frenetic juggling of lives among horrid childcare choices if I work.

There are lots of reasons to stay away from the workplace.

At the same time I am -- as the cliche goes -- a passionate worker. I have loved each and every great library where I have worked. Surely there could be another love out there for me?

I don't know.

It will likely be harder to find work than I think. Over and above the apparent downsizing of a lot of professional staff complements my expertise seems to have gone quite stale. I am not an entirely conventional librarian. I am system-administrator/cataloguer at heart with a generous dose of hyper-vibrant training-oriented manager. The populations I run in somewhat mimic those of the spotted owl. Of late I have fully realized that as a technical specialist it is do or die time. Due to a couple little things like the collapse of conventional library software systems and the rise of thoughtful little movements like open source, oh yes and this thing called the internet if I don't work now I might as well scrub my resume clean and start all over. Librarians have to work hard to market themselves as relevant in the face of technological change these days, unemployed librarian/system administrator/cataloguers even more so.

Funny but for everything we might tell ourselves about our rights for in/out to our careers in practical terms (I don't think this is just me) "Polly put the kettle on!" I must be an idiot but I have only recently fully realized/come to terms with the fact that working only one of the past four years has had an affect on my career. Likely it was only this week that I have achieved any measure of self-acceptance that I just am not as serious about work as I used to be. Call it Mo-Wo the worker 2.0.

I am kicking myself a bit this is something I could have planned for if I had thought it through at all. Hindsight is for assholes I know, but still. Of course I could have avoided much of this by just keeping my old job but from where I am I now have quite a profound understanding that I wouldn't have avoided all of it. Work is work, it is a world. There isn't a tap I can just turn off and on. There was no pause button.

ps... thanks again to my husband for going to work everyday and busting his butt that I might even have this navel gazing exercise. I am one lucky duck.

Finally.. like the new tag line?

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Blogger nonlineargirl said...

My sense is that there is no right answer to the should-I-shouldn't-I work question. The stay-at-homes fret for lost opportunity (and occasional quiet moments), the go-to-works miss time with the kids, and the part-timers stress about working unpaid hours during naps and taking calls while the toddler clamors for the phone.

My cliched offering: appreciate what you have, it will change soon.

9:37 p.m.  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

I've got absolutely no wisdom on this issue, but I love the new tagline!

9:07 a.m.  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I'm with Lumpyhead's Mom. Love the tagline. Have no advice of any value.

9:41 a.m.  
Anonymous crunchy carpets said...

I figure I can re imagine the working crunchy when the kids are in school...right now I can fantasize about work and what I COULD do and yes be glad that I CAN stay home and that right now we ain't freaking about it all...

well...dh freaks sometimes but I can usually talk him down.

He will freak later today when he realizes how much he spent at Costco

7:39 p.m.  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

The tagline is splendid.

I envy your having a career you love - two, even. You know what you want; if it hasn't presented itself yet, there's probably a reason.

..and if you scrub your resume clean & start it so bad?

9:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you wish you had a play book? When A happens we do B. Just the knowledge of knowing would be a comfort.

Love the tag line. So very you. And you, too.

10:08 p.m.  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

This is the professional woman's quandary is it not? A job is one thing; a profession is another. When your profession demands not only a specific skill-set with a Master's Degree to back it up but also the assumption of ongoing currency in the field, then it all but closes its doors on the ranks of mothers. And yet, our profession has been a women's profession since good ol' Melville starting recruiting women as a cheap labour force more than 100 years ago. You would think that of all careers, librarianship would have figured out a way to carry us mothers in its wake. I am confident that there will be a job in your chosen career for you. You may not bring the necessary skills to the first day of work but any good employer knows that you hire the person and not the skills. The skills will come quickly with Mo-Wo at the helm.

9:40 a.m.  
Blogger Sara said...

It's scary when what you love to do, gets harder and harder to find a paid job for. Good luck with that, it's somewhat out of your hands really. If you find a job, it was meant to be, if you don't, then maybe your more needed at home. At least that's how I"d look at it.


7:26 a.m.  
Blogger Andrea said...

I would have to agree with nonlineargirl. I had this discussion today at a kids birthday party and no one has the answer. Everyone has a dream. I have one kid and wish for a second but what happens after that is my big question. What do I do? What do I want to do? What are we as a family willing to do? What are we willing to sacrifice and what are we not? There are no answers for us yet.

I am an overly organized person in some aspects of life and crave some of these questions answered before we venture down child number 2 road.

9:22 p.m.  
Blogger Bon said...

i started working in a library just this year...and i'm only there managing an educational project, it's more the building where the university had the most room for me...but i never realized until i started there how fast library science is changing and the old school model, um...becoming spotted-owl-like. i work with one of those open-source systems developments and it blows my mind.

that said, i'm aiming for another eighteen months or so at home when this contract finishes, much as i've enjoyed it. i like to go back and forth.

and really, there is no right answer. but you knew that. :)

5:03 p.m.  

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