Welcome to Asked&Answered, our monthly advice column in which Ellen Mehling, METRO's Career Services Consultant, answers reader questions. Have a pressing concern about your job (search)? Submit your question here.
Q: After a 25-year career, my position in a prominent library was ended. Except for two temporary contract jobs, I have been without employment ever since. I have volunteered, interned, and have continued to advance my skills. My question is simple: What do I do next in order to find full employment?
A: The job market is improving, slowly, but there is still strong competition for every position. I recommend applying a variety of strategies to your search, some of which you’ve mentioned. Here are a few more suggestions:
Increasing your networking efforts is one of the best ways to improve your chances of success in the job search. Other professionals who know you, what you do, and the kind of work you are looking for can function as additional eyes and ears. Chances are they’ll let you know about opportunities you may otherwise have missed. You may even hear about positions before they are posted, or positions that are never posted anywhere. Those who have worked with you in some way may be willing to serve as references, which is another benefit. Becoming active in local or regional professional organizations is a great way to extend your network.
I also recommend expanding your search beyond your local area if possible, and finding jobs to apply to outside of traditional libraries. INALJ (I Need a Library Job) is a great resource for both of these strategies, with job postings for each state, a long list on the homepage of keywords for job searching, and links to lists of job titles for info pros. INALJ also has interviews with Success Stories, which can provide inspiration and help to keep your spirits up during the search.
METRO offers Career Services via individual myMETRO membership; these include resume reviews, mock interviews and career advising. The membership fee is lower for students and information professionals in career transition.