Monday, 20 May 2013

A new start.


As if the title didn't give it away already, but I am trying to be a librarian. I have been since about 2007 when I got a part-time job in public libraries. I decided I loved this line of work, but needed to get myself a degree before I could do my postgraduate library qualification so enrolled to do a BA in History. I was also lucky enough to secure a part-time job in the university library, so was gaining work experience the whole time I was at uni in the field I wanted to work in. AMAZING OR WHAT?!

By the time I got to third year I was panicking about what I would do after I graduated. Full-time jobs in libraries are few and far between in Teesside (where I'm from and where I was at uni) so I knew I would have to look further afield.


So, for the past 19 months I was living and working in London. I started with a graduate trainee post at a lovely library called The London Library (I took the background image for this blog on my last day working there). After 7 months I saw a job at King's College London, working as an interlending assistant, and applied and got it, YAY! I did that job for a year but, alas, London was too expensive for me to survive on a library assistant wage and I wanted a change.

Back to THE NORTH.

So, 19 months after re-locating to the capital, I have re-located back to my home town. For those of you reading this who are London dwellers, you probably think I'm crazy to have given up my job to move back here. I probably am. But I also like to think that it was a calculated risk and things will come good...eventually.

So, currently I am studying part-time for my library and information MSc with Robert Gordon Uni and I'm enjoying the whole distance learning thing so far, despite the occasional whinge about assignments! I also have a weekend job in the library at the University of York but unfortunately it is less than 16 hours a week, which means I need some help to top up my income while I look for other jobs.

The job centre

And that quick potted history of my working life has led me to today. I made my first ever trip to the job centre to open my claim for job seeker's allowance. I still feel a bit shell shocked by the whole experience to be honest, especially when I found out I would have to attend a course on how to do a CV and fill in application forms next week. This will take two and a half days! Errr, what?! Can I not just go about my business and apply for jobs and show you which jobs I've applied for every fortnight?! Oh no, apparently not. I'll also have to do a basic numeracy and literacy test, despite them already knowing I have a degree. No wonder this country is in a recession if this is the way the 'system' wastes time and resources by applying this ridiculous 'one size fits all' approach to everyone who is looking for jobs.

Anyway...this is why I have decided to start this blog. To record my experiences of job hunting, trying to reach my career goals and living through the experience of what the 'establishment' expects of you in order for you to get free money from them. I'd love to hear from others who have had to go through the same experience and I'd also love to hear from others in the library and information profession that have had a challenging journey to get to where they wanted to be in their careers. Should I remain hopeful or give up now and get a job in Tesco?! WATCH THIS SPACE.


  1. Am I the first person to post a comment in your blog??? That's such an honour!!! I'll keep reading you also because we're on the same boat!

  2. Great first blog post1 I'm currently facing looking for new jobs as the end of my trainee year is fast approaching and it's unlikely I'll be able to stay down south as it's much too expensive here, unfortunately! Oh, and I never realised you were from Teesside, that's where I was born :)

  3. When I was in a similar position I ended up temping, taking any job in order to keep money coming in whilst also applying for library jobs. It took some time and sometimes felt like I'd never get a job in a library again, but it worked out in the end and I'm sure it will for you too! Wish you the best of luck, don't give up!

  4. I'm sure you will get snapped up in no time! Until then, if you haven't already seen them, I found these blogs helpful: (although they're sometimes specific to America)

    Eve xx

  5. Hi Rosie, nice blog! As a fledgling careers information professional, I just wanted to say that you can use your university careers service for 2 years after you've graduated (and obviously as a current Robert Gordon student, you can use their careers service remotely too). Before I worked for a careers service, I didn't realise some of the services that they offer. For example, my service offers mock interviews tailored to a specific job that you have a real interview for. I think those can be really valuable. There may be some good events to go to as well. It's definitely worth checking out what's on offer.
    All the best with the job searching :)

  6. Thanks for your comments guys! And the useful links, thanks Eve!

    I'm remaining positive and I'm sure something will come up soon.

    I got loads of help from the careers office at uni when I was applying for my traineeship Linsey. I'm still in touch with the woman that helped me and I e-mail her from time to time to ask her to check applications etc. For the jobs that I REALLY want I think I'll definitely ask for help with mock interviews. I can also still search all the jobs on the Teesside Uni careers page too so that's quite good.

    Onwards and upwards!

  7. What stage are you at with the MSc? I also did mine at RGU but I was full-time, it was a very stressful year but I did really enjoy the course.

    1. I started in January so I've only just started. Had to defer one of my assignments because of all the chaos and upheaval of moving, so I'll technically be finished my first semester in August. I'm enjoying it all so far though! Looking forward to starting the new modules in Sept.