Thursday, October 16, 2008

job closing dates and disappointments

Well, it seems that there are a LOT of jobs out there for Librarians.

1) The problem is that none of them are in my 'backyard'. Which means --- MOVING.

Yep. But I'm cool with that. As long as it's within say, a day's drive and in a nice area, with decent salary offering.

2) A second problem is salary. There are a lot of positions that simply state "Salary commensurate with experience" or similar wording. Does that mean that a) the salary is below average and they don't want everyone laughing at them or b) they don't want to say because then everyone will want the job or b1) it will make current employees jealous?

Then there are the jobs that are in city areas where the cost of living is high. Not just 'high' but "HIGH", that only pay $26,000 to $29,000. I've passed up a few choice positions because of that.

I actually visited one of these libraries (Public/County) and spoke with a staff memember about this. She said their director was over at the Commission offices every day trying to get the salary level increased, as they have very few applications for the position at what they are offering. And even fewer actually qualified!

I mean, if I were a young, single guy, that would be no problem. Throw my stuff in a car, hit the road, shack up in a mobile home -- no problem. But when you are -- ahem -- a bit older than that, with a family ... what are the employers thinking? Even splitting the family would require more than $30K to maintain two households, even if one is a mobile home in a decent trailer park.

3) All the closing dates and dates for application reviews are half-a-month or more in the future. Good thing we have savings to fall back on, but still, the stress level is rising. My wife is also getting frustrated with me messing up her routine by being home all the time. I told her "Hey, it's good practice for when I retire." She actually threw a pillow at me.

4) Thank heavens for the internet. In the old days, I'd have to telephone county offices, HR departments, etc. to see if there were any openings, then request their application, type it, attach my resume and cover letter, and mail it via USPS. Then wait.

Now? Now all I have to do with most positions is create a cover letter, and email my resume and references to the HR contact. And I usually get confirmation within a day that my packet has been received. Amazing! It would have taken me a month to apply for the positions I've recently applied for in one morning. I love it. (ok, not really "LOVE" it, but it's a better system.)

Ok, well that's my update. Waiting for interview requests to come pouring in.

I hope that by doing this, some of you will gain valuable insight into the process, and maybe let me know how YOUR job searches are going. Or if you hear of something I might be interested in at YOUR SouthEastern library system or educational facility. I'm a former academic and really want to get back with that. I've pretty much had it with Public politics. After I get my job, I'll post all the sources I've used. (yep, I'm open, but not crazy!)

See you there.

"The Director" (former)

1 comment:

Kewl Librarian 2 said...

I totally sympathize. Before accepting my current position, I was offered another one, in a higher cost of living area at what would have been a salary decrease. Mind you, the job description had a range, they just didn't put that everyone started at the lower end. I did the math and realized it just wasn't enough, even though the benefits were good. You still have to pay the bills.

As for the salary commensurate phrase. Yeah, it's shadowy, however, you are not obligated to take the job if offered at a pitiful salary. So, I did apply for jobs that really appealed to me with those statements with the knowledge that if it wasn't enough, well, I didn't have to take it. I'm betting there's a range for those jobs and they don't post it, which allows them to negotiate.

And, for what it's worth, I'm a little older and single and that still doesn't make it overly practical to throw stuff in a car and move for $26,000 or even $30,000. This last job, I moved 1500 miles. But, it's the right job. I may eventually have to find a way closer to my family, but for now, I'm enjoying living in a new area.

Wishing you luck as you continue your search.