Author Topic: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?  (Read 6938 times)

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« on: August 25, 2013, 06:24:29 PM »
Hi :)

I live in Canada, and have a BA in English Literature and a Master's in Library and Information Studies. From December - May I worked in a short-term position as a University Humanities Librarian. It was a great opportunity and I gained experience, but I have been underemployed since then. I am now working at Chapters Bookstore, and while it keeps my book recommendations sharp - I need to make more money.

I have $5,500 left in student loans and I am eager to be done with them! There are no library jobs available where I'm living, and I'm trying to find other work that I would be qualified for. I have been offered a job as a retail store team leader AND an office assistant position, but I declined because they paid minimum wage and I need to push myself to earn more. Trouble is, I'm not sure where else to look! I interviewed to be a youth worker at a youth centre, but as it turns out I'm not very qualified. I need ideas.

Note: moving is not an option right now, and learning new skills is not my preference. Also, evening jobs are not ideal because it would mean never seeing my SO.

The short version of my hireable skills: strong communicaton skills, decent technology skills (typing, Wordpress, Microsoft office), research, information management, organization, leadership.

Ideas of jobs to search for would be MUCH appreciated. :)

lentilman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
    • the Independent Penguin
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 06:37:41 PM »
A job as an Admin might fit what you are looking for.  If you can hook on with a multinational it can even turn into a pretty desirable career.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 06:40:00 PM »
I don't have any management or supervisory experience... That might be an issue, no?

Also, I'm realizing that I needed this post as an outlet. I will find more office jobs, and govt ones will probably pay better! :)

Another Reader

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4453
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 06:42:14 PM »
You have a master's degree in a field that is not in demand in your area.  Are there any major employers there?  Are they hiring in any positions where you might be close to matching the qualifications?  What about local and provincial governments?  Any universities?  Have you tried all of them?

Sadly, the skills you list are pretty generic and match the low level positions you have been offered.  College graduates with liberal arts degrees are a dime a dozen here in the SF Bay Area.  Retail, waiting tables, and office admin positions (often temporary) are snapped up by folks with your skills and education around here.  You are going to have to distinguish your self by some rare but useful skill or find a hidden job for which you are especially suited.

An entry level admin position in a company or agency that interests you might be the best way to get started.  Yes, you won't make much to start, but it will be an opportunity to learn new skills and market yourself within the company once you are established.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 06:55:20 PM »
Another Reader - Thank you for your great suggestions! I think I'm just feeling dismayed, because in my previous city office jobs paid much more.

I need something to tide me over until a library job happens. This gives me some food for thought :)

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 07:09:15 PM »
Anywhere with lots of information that needs managed!
Hospital patient info
Labs that keep lots of samples
Law (databases? research maybe?)
Archiver of something (maps? newspapers?)

It appears that you love books which is great, but I wouldn't limit yourself to that. I don't think many people know what Library and Information Studies actually means (it should be clear by now I don't haha), so you can play it off as applying to many more things than it actually does. Provided you're comfortable faking it for a while, of course.

rocklebock

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 247
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 07:29:56 PM »
Hi - I'm a department head in an academic library. It's a tough market for new grads, and I sympathize. I'm assuming you are already drawing on your network of colleagues from library school and previous jobs as much as possible. Some thoughts:

- Are you looking at paraprofessional positions? Taking one of those jobs post-MLS used to be considered career suicide, but that's no longer the case.
- Do you have cataloging/metadata/digital skills? If not, can you develop them? Those are more in demand than the reference stuff from what I see. They're also more conducive to doing contract or freelance work, if you want to try that.
- Is commuting to another town or county a possibility? It's not very mustachian in general, but it might be better than being out of the workforce. I live in a city with an overabundance of recent library grads. They are not going to get jobs in the field unless they're willing to move or have a long commute. Two of my friends graduated this year, and both got FT professional jobs within a couple months - in a much less desirable city 45 minutes away. They commute together to save money.
- There are many fields where your MLS skills are applicable. I know librarians who have worked in user experience, information architecture, health informatics, and market research. There are more. However, as Russ indicates, most people outside of libraries don't understand what an MLS degree means, so you have to sell your skill set to get hired in non-traditional fields.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 07:37:15 PM by rocklebock »

KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 09:17:03 PM »
I'd focus on the company, rather than the actual position and starting salary. If you can get an office admin job, even through a temp agency, you have a chance to try out the company, and then move up the ladder if it's a good fit. Getting in the door is the hardest part. Once you are there, if you prove to be a valuable employee, and it's a large company, it's not too hard to get promoted. It's just easier to hire internally. Lots of people in my company start out as entry level and move into much better positions.

Are you willing to disclose your exact location? There are lots of Canadians here, and we might have some ideas of specific companies, if we knew your area.

CU Tiger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 460
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic USA
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 10:02:42 PM »
This may sound crazy, but hear me out. If you want to get those loans paid off as quickly as possible, have you considered bartending or cocktail waitressing?

If you get a job in a busy place, present yourself pleasingly (look nice, are friendly) and work hard, you can make a LOT of money. I am not talking about anything sleazy. I just mean a place where people are spending money on food and drink.

On another site I am on a guy talked about how he saved up enough cash to buy himself some land in the country and build a small green home on it. He lived in the big city in a dirtbag apartment. He worked at a busy bar and took EVERY shift they offered him. He also let the other bartenders know he was glad to pick up their shifts if he wasn't on the schedule. He brought his tip money home every night and put it in a shoe box. In four years he had enough money that he could buy his land, build his house, and be FIRE for the rest of his life. He said that now all he does every year to pay his taxes, etc. is do a little carpentry work or help farmers with outdoor work (what he likes to do).

One of my co-workers at a graphics place put herself through college working at Hooters. She said most of the guys who come there are just dorky family guys / college boys who like to be served by a pretty girl and they tip like the money is burning a hole in their pockets.

I know it's not what you want to do forever, but it could help with being in debt. If you have to sell your time, why not sell it for a lot more than minimum wage?

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2013, 10:44:10 PM »
Thanks everyone, for the good ideas! :)

Some info:

I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The closest cities that have libraries are (to my knowledge) 2+ hours away, making commuting unrealistic.

I am totally open to library assistant/tech positions, but some places are unwilling to hire librarians for those jobs because they're aware that it's not a permanent career move for someone aiming to work as a librarian. (But, I keep applying, just in case!)

I do have cataloging skills. :) "Market research" is a great idea for a term I can search on job boards. Thanks!

Waitressing - I have considered this. My concern is evenings and weekends - could someone with waitressing/bar tending experience let me know if it is possible to work mostly only days? It wouldn't matter to me so much, except I moved far away from friends and family to be with my boyfriend here in SK. If I rarely see him (he works 9am-6pm), it's not worth it to me. People first, money second. (As much as possible). I will look into this though. It's a great suggestion as far as money-making and debt repayment is concerned!

Thanks so much, Mustachians <3

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7642
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 03:24:58 AM »
It is not true to say there are no libraries in your location -- maybe no libraries with jobs you are qualified for, but the local public library listings are here:

http://www.saskatoonlibrary.ca/node/676

There are also a few University libraries I can see (U of S and the Seminary), as well as public school libraries, but it does look like there aren't any positions currently available.  If you want to secure a library job you probably should start networking with the librarians, though -- my guess is in such a tight market they probably already know who they want to hire before they even post any openings. 

Anyway, as far as non-library employment goes, anything related to office or project management would probably give you more options down the road.  you need to convince people that you can translate your library-focused training into more real world situations though.

Have you looked at the university employment listings?  This one might be worth trying for, especially if you did any work with students during your MLS:


http://jobs.usask.ca/job_postings/jobs/13357m.php

Academic advising can be a pretty portable career track, with room to move up -- there are schools everywhere that need advisors!

And this one looked interesting, too, if you like to research and write -- developing proposal writing skills and getting paid for it might not be a bad combo:

http://ca.indeed.com/cmp/Exeng/jobs/Proposal-Writer-73fe0a3d6717fb0a

FWIW, in a smaller economy like that one of the best ways to get a job is probably to start networking widely.  Let everyone you meet, and everyone your partner meets, know that you are up for new challenges and eager to help an employer solve their problems.  Ask everybody you meet what their greatest challenge at the office/in their business is now.  Suggest ways you might be able to help them fix that problem or address a need.  Be open to different things and see what comes your way.  Maybe its a temp job or a short-term gig to start out, but it gives you the chance to try new things and meet new people, too.  Who knows where it might lead. 


jrhampt

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 07:31:14 AM »
Since you have a master's degree, you could get a job as an adjunct professor at a smaller college (not for high pay, though), and I would also look into tutoring/test prep for the GRE if you have high enough test scores.  Test prep can pay pretty well if you are in an area that prizes higher education.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 08:55:10 AM »
Lhamo - thanks for your very detailed response :) I've applied to the library assistant position that you linked me to, but I'm not banking on it happening because librarians sometimes don't get hired as library assistants. But, fingers crossed!

Also, I will be working twice a month at the university library, because of some connections I made when I was working there :)

And, THANK YOU! The two jobs you linked me to had slipped under my radar, and it would appear that I stand a chance. Definitely applying. I truly appreciate the time you took to search for me :)!

Jrhampt - perhaps I will get back into tutoring. I prefer helping students for free and letting the government pay me, but beggars can't be choosers!

penny

  • Guest
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 05:09:09 PM »
I know whenever the time comes for Brainfuse or tutor.com renew their contracts with our library system, they are always plugging how the "tutors" are librarians. 
Although the job specs below don't seem to indicate a MLS as a prereq, maybe it gives you a leg up at least, and online homework help is really more reference than actual tutoring.

http://www.tutor.com/apply
http://www.brainfuse.com/register/tutorPromo.asp

Lans Holman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: North by Northwest
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2013, 05:31:32 PM »
My mom was a librarian and she worked in a law firm for a couple of years, it paid really well.  Of course, she couldn't stand a lot of her coworkers, but that could happen anywhere.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 12:41:47 AM »
I'll check out those leads. Thanks! :)

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3929
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2013, 11:19:34 PM »
Update: Got a new job! I start tomorrow, it might be temporary, but it's going to help a lot :)

Casual hours at a library! Yaaaaaaay

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7642
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2013, 01:26:10 AM »
Yaaaaay!  Good for you.  Hope you enjoy the job and that it helps you enjoy your life up north a bit more, too.

KMMK

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1493
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
    • Meena Kestirke Insurance
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2013, 06:30:12 AM »
That's great. Thanks for the update.

olivia

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • From Consumerism to Minimalism
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2013, 07:06:16 AM »
Awesome, congratulations!

lentilman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 175
    • the Independent Penguin
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2013, 08:53:53 AM »
Congrats, awesome news!

Rebecca Stapler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 907
    • Stapler Confessions
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2013, 09:43:13 AM »
Congrats!

I'm late to your thread, but if you're looking for something more permanent, legal informatics might be a good area to learn more about. It's the kind of area where MLS skills are needed and work is getting more and more cloud-based, so it's conducive to freelancing / working remotely.

sleepyguy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 672
  • Location: Oakville, Ontario
Re: Help! What kind of jobs should I be going for?
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2013, 11:11:08 AM »
Interesting choice of education... I assume it's a pretty niche job market with those creds.  Good news on the p/t job!

I would say with the skills you possess, being an executive admin would be a great role.  Don't knock the title... I know a few who make 70-80k + 10% bonus/yr.  And it's a pretty easy job depending on what kind of exec you support.

anyway, take care and good luck!