Author Topic: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?  (Read 8358 times)

lifejoy

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Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:54:22 AM »
The situation:

I am interviewing for a job that I (in some ways) do not truly want. It pays well, and would contribute to financial freedom (eventually). But I would not be too excited about my daily life. The job: supervisor at a library. Lots of pushing paper.

I am also applying for jobs that I strongly feel I will like. They do not pay as well, but my daily life would be more enjoyable/happier. (Healthier?) The job: sales associate at a family-owned and independent jewellery store.

On the path towards financial independence, how much short-term suffering should I be ok with? Or should I push my FI date, in hopes of enjoying my life in the mean time?

[I am 25 years old, 2 years out of school, with a degree in English Lit and a master's in Library Science. I am an ENFJ and I thrive on human interaction. Sitting in a box, staring at a computer, not talking to anyone - leaves me feeling very drained and unhappy at the end of the day. I have almost no debt (owe the parents a little bit) and am trying to make smart choices.]

lifejoy

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 12:01:38 PM »
If you're outgoing, sales might be a really good option, and I know that if you're good at it, there's a LOT of growth potential. Are you looking to make a career out of the jewelry store, or what? Mr. Planting Our Pennies has talked about working in sales and he's super happy there. Might be worth a look.

http://www.plantingourpennies.com/just-out-of-school-deep-in-debt-job-sucks-what-to-do/
http://www.plantingourpennies.com/2012/10/15/how-do-you-go-from-minimum-wage-to-80k-in-a-year-part-1/
http://www.plantingourpennies.com/how-do-you-go-from-minimum-wage-to-80k-in-a-year-part-2/
http://www.plantingourpennies.com/how-do-you-go-from-minimum-wage-to-80k-in-a-year-part-3/


Thank you so much for the links! I have worked in sales before and I really enjoyed it. I think it was a good fit - customers were really happy with me, and would tell my manager about their positive experiences. However, I wasn't making a commission! I *love* jewellery and would be able to make a commission. I would really like to try it out, but I'm scared to deviate from the prescribed "safer" path.

minimalist

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 12:02:36 PM »
You have a master's in Library Science and your user name is libraryjoy, but you don't want to be a library supervisor? What would you like to do career wise before FI? Retail at a jewelry store would make you underemployed with your credentials.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 12:04:17 PM by minimalist »

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 12:06:46 PM »
Can you take the stable job, and try the jewelry job on weekends or in peak season (Christmas/Valentines etc)?

MsSindy

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 12:18:06 PM »
You have a master's in Library Science and your user name is libraryjoy, but you don't want to be a library supervisor? What would you like to do career wise before FI? Retail at a jewelry store would make you underemployed with your credentials.

Other than I don't think it really matters that she would be underemployed, these were kind of my questions, too.  Did you get your degree without really understanding what the job would entail?  It would be interesting to understand what drew you to Library Science...maybe those interests could transfer.

The question about short-term suffering....it's all a matter of degree.  You need to determine if it's really 'suffering', or is it just that you wouldn't be excited about it (different things).  Also, how much difference in pay are we talking about and what impact does it have to your FI goals.  I would imagine that there probably isn't a big difference in terms of pay?  And if I thought I was going to be doing something for the next 15 years (jewelry store sales=enjoyable) compared to 13 years at yucky job, there wouldn't be a big enough payoff and I would take the job that I liked.  But if you take that same scenario and jewelry job was 15 and yucky job was 5.....well, then that's something I would have to consider more thoughtfully (and it comes down to degrees...just how yucky is it really?)

MDM

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 12:18:38 PM »
As a library "supervisor", would you supervise people or things or both?  If people, then you could get the human interaction on which you thrive - depending on how many people you supervise and how many non direct reports you would/could meet on a given day.

In other words, could you structure the library job so you would enjoy it?

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 12:27:20 PM »
I'd take the sales job - it has the real freedom/happiness now, and you can leverage the experience into a sales position that I'd bet makes much more than a library supervisor.
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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 12:36:09 PM »
Sell books! or related industry like publishing etc.... Monetarily, the potential is more upside in sales so maybe you can combine your education to the Sales field. 
 

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 12:37:52 PM »
A word of caution about the sales job... this is something my own wife is now going through as a sort of existential crisis with her side gig. The further you fall down the hole of FI and separating yourself from material consumerism, the more soul-sucking sales jobs become because you cease to enjoy helping others waste money on needless purchases that don't actually fulfill or bring them joy so much as debt. Jewelery is right up there with MLP lunchbags from a practicality standpoint, and if you're serious about FIRE and deriving lifelong joy out of life and not stuff, I can pretty well guarantee you will eventually come to odds with this line of work. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... but soon enough.

You need to get back in touch with what actually makes you happy and what drew you to the library sciences in the first place, and then find a way to make that work. Perhaps consider that neither current job offerings are right for you.

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 12:55:37 PM »
You have a master's in Library Science and your user name is libraryjoy, but you don't want to be a library supervisor? What would you like to do career wise before FI? Retail at a jewelry store would make you underemployed with your credentials.

I love libraries. I really do. And I loved selling books - but it was a minimum wage gig that could be discouraging at times, purely because of the pay. My disillusionment with libraries has occured because: I have not worked as a librarian and do not currently have the option to move; as such I am over-qualified for my current library positions. Also - I pursued this career because I thought it meant talking to people about books. It is really more about managing information and resources. I NEED PEOPLE! Whew. Sorry for yelling ;)

Ideally I would work at the jewellery store and volunteer at a library.

And if for some reason you're a complete and utter failure, there will be other desk jobs.

I agree. I also feel like the further I progress in the library career, the harder it will be to leave the big pay cheque in order to try something new. Even if I'm sacrificing my health and happiness...

Can you take the stable job, and try the jewelry job on weekends or in peak season (Christmas/Valentines etc)?

I have considered this, but it frightens me. I have habitually had two jobs at once, and I am trying to focus more on health, happiness, family, and friends. Before, when I was in debt, working so much felt worthwhile. Now, I am questioning that path.

Other than I don't think it really matters that she would be underemployed, these were kind of my questions, too.  Did you get your degree without really understanding what the job would entail?  It would be interesting to understand what drew you to Library Science...maybe those interests could transfer.

When I signed up for my degree, I did not really know what it meant to be a librarian. I think some library jobs are very people-oriented, but I have fallen into a number of them that are not. And I am burnt out, already. Which does not bode well for a future in libraries. I am kind of hoping to develop these two career paths concurrently. Perhaps working part-time in each field?

As a library "supervisor", would you supervise people or things or both?  If people, then you could get the human interaction on which you thrive - depending on how many people you supervise and how many non direct reports you would/could meet on a given day.

In other words, could you structure the library job so you would enjoy it?

I hate to judge a job before I've tried it, but I have worked at this particular library before and it is very small with low traffic. It would really be me sitting in a box, putting out fires as necessary. Sigh. Nice people work there, though.

I'd take the sales job - it has the real freedom/happiness now, and you can leverage the experience into a sales position that I'd bet makes much more than a library supervisor.

Yes - this is my little dream right now. It's scary to want to do things that I know my parents would not approve of (because it's not a conventional, conservative path)... but I think I should try this! My favourite job was once working as an office assistant for a sprinkler company. I loved it because the boss/owner and I just chatted all day while working. I thrive and flourish in that kind of environment! :)

Sell books! or related industry like publishing etc.... Monetarily, the potential is more upside in sales so maybe you can combine your education to the Sales field. 
 

Selling books is great but not (in my experience) lucrative. I do hope to use my past experiences in the sales field, though! :)

A word of caution about the sales job... this is something my own wife is now going through as a sort of existential crisis with her side gig. The further you fall down the hole of FI and separating yourself from material consumerism, the more soul-sucking sales jobs become because you cease to enjoy helping others waste money on needless purchases that don't actually fulfill or bring them joy so much as debt. Jewelery is right up there with MLP lunchbags from a practicality standpoint, and if you're serious about FIRE and deriving lifelong joy out of life and not stuff, I can pretty well guarantee you will eventually come to odds with this line of work. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... but soon enough.

You need to get back in touch with what actually makes you happy and what drew you to the library sciences in the first place, and then find a way to make that work. Perhaps consider that neither current job offerings are right for you.

This is a great point. I have pondered this. Right now, I would be more than happy to sell people things for lotsa monies! Sparkly shiny things? Here ya go. Plus, this independent jewellery store has the philosophy that they do not want to sell to people that can't afford it, or don't really love it. I respect that. So while I think your warning has merit, I think it could be worthwile to work in that field until it becomes insufferable. Then, reassess and find a new field, or return to libraries. Or be a SAHM! I dunno.

I am realizing that the library world might not be for me, and I want to have an exit strategy.

Thanks everyone, for helping me think this out! I am finding it very useful to ask like-minded people for advice, rather than well-meaning friends or family that don't have a similar world-view.

sleepyguy

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 01:22:50 PM »
Gonna go against the grain here... use your degree and take that Library job.  Heck if you hate it in a years time then do something else.  But heck you will have professional experience in a field you trained.  Stay at least a year so it's relevant.  You may even really like the job... you don't know until you've done it.  The other job i'm gonna assume is just a mcjob.. you could get anytime.

lifejoy

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 01:33:44 PM »
Gonna go against the grain here... use your degree and take that Library job.  Heck if you hate it in a years time then do something else.  But heck you will have professional experience in a field you trained.  Stay at least a year so it's relevant.  You may even really like the job... you don't know until you've done it.  The other job i'm gonna assume is just a mcjob.. you could get anytime.

This is a very good point. Jewellery jobs aren't going anywhere.

Then again, a year of unhappiness could matter, depending on how long you live...

citrine

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 01:42:24 PM »
Life is too short!  Do what you want and what will make you happy :) You are still young enough to recover from detours!  I had a lot of naysayers when I up and left the safe corporate job....it's been 5 years now and keeps getting better :)

arebelspy

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 01:44:02 PM »
Gonna go against the grain here... use your degree and take that Library job.  Heck if you hate it in a years time then do something else.  But heck you will have professional experience in a field you trained.  Stay at least a year so it's relevant.  You may even really like the job... you don't know until you've done it.  The other job i'm gonna assume is just a mcjob.. you could get anytime.

That's not a bad idea at all, especially if you make the decision to try and like the job...
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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 01:46:46 PM »
I have an old high school friend who seems to make a lot of money (and take fabulous vacations) by selling books to public schools. He works for World Book and teaches high school psychology and coaches basketball on the side. 

Which makes me also think you should consider teaching or working in a school library. There are PEOPLE! there...

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2014, 01:59:20 PM »
Here are two things to consider:

1. If you take the library job and you don't like it and you decide that you really don't want to be involved in this type of career, you can always quit. I am currently in a job that I don't love, but I'm not miserable by any means. There are things I really like about this job, and things that I don't, and things I'm hoping to like more over time. It takes time to really understand if you like a job. Like 6 months to a year in my previous experience. There is no shame in just having a job to have a job. If you're good at your job, and don't entirely love it, that's fine you can find your meaning elsewhere.

2. Seeing as you can always quit the library job if you don't like it, choosing the jewelry store job is probably going to make you less marketable in the library profession. There will be a gap on your resume where you're underemployed, which may be a red flag to employers. I don't necessarily know if this is the case since I don't hire people, but it's something to consider.

What you really need to think about is what you want to do long term, and ensure that whatever you're doing is building capitol toward that final goal. Do you want to eventually be a salesperson? Take the jewelry store job because it's building those skills. Based on your education and username, it seems like you've put a lot of thought and energy into cultivating a love of libraries. Are you just burnt out on school plus extra jobs? I certainly was after grad school. Maybe you need to take the library job and give it a shot since you've already put so much into your degree.

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2014, 02:02:41 PM »
Oh something else to add. If you want to be a librarian, in your current city or elsewhere, it make take some grunt work to get there. Entry level jobs are not glamorous by any means. Sometimes they're the things you need to do in order to gain the marketable skills to get to doing what you want to do. Not every job you have is going to be entirely enjoyable, but you may eventually find more meaning out of a library job (just based on your interest/education/username) than you would the jewelry store job, even if your initial experience at the library isn't ideal.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2014, 04:49:21 PM »
I'd take the library job and look for ways to find fun and fulfillment outside of work. It would be one thing if you were in a toxic soul-crushing job, but it sounds like a good steady gig with a career path. Work tends to be "work" - and you can usually find ways to be happy with the right mindset.

I bet after a year at the jewelry job it will feel like work too. And then you've given up a hard won career in the bargain.

Or make the leap - in full knowledge that you will need to work many more years part time because your earning power is less. If that will make you happy that is cool - but it sounds like a big risk to me.

I've taken pay cuts before, but never jumped out of my career field entirely. It can be hard to get back in at the same level.

Tough choice! Good luck with your decision.


Emilyngh

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2014, 05:09:33 PM »
Have you looked into library jobs at local colleges?

I don't know for sure that there would be more interaction with people, but I know that at my school all students are required to take a 1 credit hour into to library sciences courses that are taught by library staff.   Maybe you could look for the type of job that also has some kind of student/public interaction like this?  Also, students work in the library and they tend to be pretty social, so it seems to me like there might be more opportunity for interactions at this type of library?

I really don't know what I'm talking about, but just a thought.

Edited to add: I'd take the jewelry job, but would be concerned that this too would get old soon and would be on the lookout for something that I could do to leverage the library degree that I would enjoy.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 05:11:36 PM by Emilyngh »

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 07:05:30 PM »
Having sold jewelry and deepy involved in libraries for years (as a volunteer, not an employee) I hope I can add a useful thought or two.

First, you worked hard and spent a lot of money to get that library degree. Nonetheless, I wouldn't necessarily advise you take a job that doesn't appeal to you, even if it's just for the experience. Listen to your gut on that one, but don't give up on your chosen profession just yet. I would consider looking for another way of applying your library skills. After years of searching, one friend now works in a medical library at a major research university and loves every minute of it. So much so, she says she never wants to retire! This from a woman who was always planning her next sabbatical/escape.

Regarding the sales job, it could easily become a fox-in-the-chicken-coop kind of thing. You will be subjected to constant temptation. You will also have to deal with bored, rich women who buy themselves presents to fill the holes in their lives, cheating spouses buying gifts for their new flames and then buying different gifts for their spouses to 1). assuage their guilt or 2). as atonement once they're caught. I know this sounds cynical, but been there, experienced that. Sure, there are engagement rings and graduation gifts and milestone anniversaries, but it isn't all sweetness and light in the jewelry business either. Then there is the issue of selling highly marked-up, non-essential goods to people who may or may not be able to afford them.

Retail hours tend to be much longer than library hours, with less security and fewer medical benefits. There can be long stretches of time between customers. When there's nothing else to do it's so easy to start trying on jewelry...

Finally, I want to say this very carefully, as I am in no way questioning your character. The jewelry business is full of temptation for anyone who likes bright, shiny, pretty things. I do not mean just the danger of buying things you suddenly believe you can't live without. Please don't be surprised when I tell you that while I have never been tempted to steal anything from a library, I can remenber being tempted more than once in the jewelry business. Never did it, but remember well the sick feeling of desire. It's hard to write this even so many years later, but there is plenty of temptation in the jewelry store that simply does not exist at the library.

I think you are smart to use this forum as a sounding board for your options. I am confident that you will make a good decision. Best of luck to you!

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2014, 07:19:33 PM »
Would your master's in library science qualify you for this job: corporate librarian/data archivist?  I know little about the career field, but I think there are people that help big-ish companies manage their institutional knowledge (sort/organize/depository architecture type stuff).  It might pay really well, get you involved in collaborations with a bunch of multi-disciplinary groups, and learning what users at the company need. 

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2014, 07:22:38 PM »
You guys always help me think! I have decided that for now, I will try to get the new library job that I am interviewing for, and at least give it a shot. I will also try to get a part time job at a jewellery store. I will then make a more final decision, when I have enough information to do so. Right now I'm doing a lot of guessing.

Thank you for pointing out that I may indeed love libraries. It's true! I do. And I would probably love working in the right one. I think the grunt work has me burnt out, but it's part of the process. Perhaps I just need to hang in there.

I care a lot about workplace happiness right now, because I live in a city away from friends and family. It is also winter 8 months out of the year (-42 today, with frostbite warnings). If I'm miserable at work, I'm also miserable at home and it's not good for me or my bf. Happiness outside of work is a challenge... But perhaps once spring hits I will have renewed vigor. :) I'll keep you all posted!

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2014, 07:29:52 PM »
Have you thought about working on the sales side in the library field? The companies that sell/license software and collection packages to libraries all need sales reps to actually sell the stuff and manage accounts. I have friends who do this and like it. It's high human contact (though often remotely) and you have a great deal of authority in negotiating with clients to solve problems and deliver something they really need, which you won't get in a retail sales job.

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2014, 09:16:14 PM »
Maybe my story will help you think differently about the library job.

My first "real" job was as a page in our local library.  It was the smallest branch of a large county library system.  Tiny, tiny building, small staff (1 full-time librarian, 1 PT assistant librarian, and me), small collection, fairly limited hours.  But the place was AWESOME!  Our librarian had been in her position for decades.  Her husband was the local postmaster and also was a volunteer EMT.  They knew EVERYBODY!  Partly for this reason, but also due to her huge passion for books and linking people up with titles they would love, the library really was the heart and soul of the community for many people -- kind of took the place of church for the bookish, agnostic types :)  But we loved our churchgoers, too. 

That job was where I first learned the basic principles of excellent customer service.  I knew the shelves like the back of my hand, and my personal goal was to have a book in the hands of the patron before they finished telling us the title they were looking for (or to be able to tell them whether or not it was in, and if not, start placing the hold).  I learned the reading preferences of our regular patrons and if I saw something on the cart that I thought might appeal to them I would often put it aside for them (most of our people were real regulars who would come in on the same day of the week).

I loved, loved, loved that job!  One of my possible post-FI jobs would be to go back to that library system.  I wouldn't need a high-level position -- just helping put books and other resources in the hands of people who want them would be great, and if I got paid a bit for it all the better!

I guess what I am trying to say here is don't let your past experiences rule out this opportunity for you.  you might be the librarian who turns that little, out of the way branch into a real resource and social hub for the community.  Too much time on your hands?  Do some creative programming!  Too few people coming in?  Figure out ways to make more people aware of all the resources the library has to offer.  Start a homework club in the afternoons.  Join up with the garden club to have a joint book/plant sale as a fundraiser.  There are so many things you could do. Makes me want to apply for the job!

OK, I know, it probably isn't all bunnies and rainbows and it will have its downside like any job.  But I think you should give it a try.  If nothing else, it is an opportunity to get supervisory experience on your resume and maybe that will give you a leg up in applying for work in a bigger, more active branch a bit down the line.

Oh, and FWIW, one of my WORST jobs was also in a library.  In college I spent a summer working in the children's section of the university library.  Sounds great, right?  NOT.  Totally dead place.  The theoretical study of children's literature does not draw many people in.  In that place the librarian was also a dud, so there was no hope of changing the tone.  But here it sounds like you'd be in charge, so hopefully you'd have some freedom to experiment a bit.

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2014, 06:37:06 AM »
I would come down on the "use your degree" side. At least for a year. In a year's time, maybe you don't like THIS library job, but another library job will come up that you do like. I'm also the type of person that would hate to not have used my degree.

Work the jewelry job PT if you can handle it stress/health wise. Most retail stores are desperate for quality PT help, whereas FT sales can be a drain during slow periods. If you really, really like it, consider going full time later. Pitfalls of commission sales are irregular pay, which makes it very difficult to plan a budget. When my income was a bigger portion of our budget (instead of FI juice), I had to budget for "worst-case" earnings.

Since I'm a sales and DIY guy, a big factor would be whether the jewelry job was strictly sales or whether you had an opportunity to apprentice with them as well.

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2014, 06:42:59 AM »
It sounds like there are some library jobs you would enjoy, but that this isn't one of them.  If that's the case, I'd take the job and use it to get the experience that pads my resume a bit, allowing me to find a better library gig in the future, either as a promotion or lat transfer in the current library system, or in a new library system.

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Re: Financial freedom vs. Real freedom? What should I do?
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2014, 08:45:12 AM »
Maybe my story will help you think differently about the library job.

My first "real" job was as a page in our local library.  It was the smallest branch of a large county library system.  Tiny, tiny building, small staff (1 full-time librarian, 1 PT assistant librarian, and me), small collection, fairly limited hours.  But the place was AWESOME!  Our librarian had been in her position for decades.  Her husband was the local postmaster and also was a volunteer EMT.  They knew EVERYBODY!  Partly for this reason, but also due to her huge passion for books and linking people up with titles they would love, the library really was the heart and soul of the community for many people -- kind of took the place of church for the bookish, agnostic types :)  But we loved our churchgoers, too. 

That job was where I first learned the basic principles of excellent customer service.  I knew the shelves like the back of my hand, and my personal goal was to have a book in the hands of the patron before they finished telling us the title they were looking for (or to be able to tell them whether or not it was in, and if not, start placing the hold).  I learned the reading preferences of our regular patrons and if I saw something on the cart that I thought might appeal to them I would often put it aside for them (most of our people were real regulars who would come in on the same day of the week).

I loved, loved, loved that job!  One of my possible post-FI jobs would be to go back to that library system.  I wouldn't need a high-level position -- just helping put books and other resources in the hands of people who want them would be great, and if I got paid a bit for it all the better!

I guess what I am trying to say here is don't let your past experiences rule out this opportunity for you.  you might be the librarian who turns that little, out of the way branch into a real resource and social hub for the community.  Too much time on your hands?  Do some creative programming!  Too few people coming in?  Figure out ways to make more people aware of all the resources the library has to offer.  Start a homework club in the afternoons.  Join up with the garden club to have a joint book/plant sale as a fundraiser.  There are so many things you could do. Makes me want to apply for the job!

OK, I know, it probably isn't all bunnies and rainbows and it will have its downside like any job.  But I think you should give it a try.  If nothing else, it is an opportunity to get supervisory experience on your resume and maybe that will give you a leg up in applying for work in a bigger, more active branch a bit down the line.

Oh, and FWIW, one of my WORST jobs was also in a library.  In college I spent a summer working in the children's section of the university library.  Sounds great, right?  NOT.  Totally dead place.  The theoretical study of children's literature does not draw many people in.  In that place the librarian was also a dud, so there was no hope of changing the tone.  But here it sounds like you'd be in charge, so hopefully you'd have some freedom to experiment a bit.

Lol - great stories! I think there is a big difference between public and academic libraries. Perhaps I need to focus more on exploring in the public realm. This latest job is academic... snore! HAHA jk. Ok I will give it a shot and see where life takes me :)