August 13th, 2013
|forkmeup||11:17 am - Starting in the fall.|
So I'll be starting the program in the fall (in 3 weeks!) and just wanted to reach out to fellow MLIS'ers.
I was mainly curious about how previous grads have found job searching after graduation? Did you manage to get a full time job afterwards? Are you glad that you got the degree? I've been staying up too late reading horror stories and it's been giving me anxiety.
Well, I'm glad I got it. I graduated six years ago, and I don't know if it's harder for newly minted librarians to find work these days - could be - but it wasn't a walk in the park then either. It helps if you're flexible in your job search, and I don't think you should expect to find a full-time permanent position right away; you're more likely to start out with temporary contracts and/or part-time work. Get as much library experience before graduating as you can, and that should help.
...to give you an idea of how that can go, it took me almost exactly two years after graduating to find a permanent full-time job, and I had four jobs in the interim. It was a bit stressful at times, but I was able to support myself all right.
Most of my classmates started with contract work too, though not all.
Thank you so much for your input. :)
I definitely don't expect to find a full-time, permanent job from the get-go, but as long as I can support myself with something in the meantime (like you did), I won't feel like getting the degree is a total waste of time... so everything you've said has made me feel better about the whole thing!
Like mesembria, coop was super helpful for me - two of my post-graduation contracts were with the org where I did my two coop terms, and I think that's not unusual. Plus of course the experience and references I got via coop were invaluable.
I totally understand the anxiety - I was apprehensive over this too, as a student, but in retrospect I didn't need to worry so much over whether things would work out. I think if you get some experience while in school, work hard, are reasonably smart, get along with other people, and are willing to move if necessary to find work, you'll be fine. :)
...I say the bit about moving not just because it's difficult to find a job someplace like London where the market is saturated with MLIS grads, but also because depending on where you want to live afterward, the library job market may not be that big. I suspect I might have found a permanent position sooner if I hadn't wanted to stay in my favourite - smallish - city; I didn't have to stay there, but for a while I thought I could make that happen. Maybe I could have, if I'd stuck it out longer, but it could have taken years, and I felt like I was starting to stagnate there, in terms of my career. So I started seriously looking elsewhere, found something within a month or two, and moved to another province for it. Might not have had to move quite that far away, but I took the first offer I got - it was also a good fit for me and something that would help me progress along the specific career path I want to follow. I guess I was being a little picky about what jobs I applied to, but like I said, I was doing okay supporting myself, so I wasn't desperate to just take anything.
(I wasn't sure about what career path I wanted in library school, but the coop terms and the temporary work I did in those couple of years really helped in figuring that out too, so I don't regret any of it. I think I would only have regrets if I hadn't decided enough was enough and I had to move. :) )
Take the Co-op option at UWO. I did that, and that experience got me a temporary job for 9 months, then a part time job 6 months after that ended. I've been steadily employed ever since and in 6 years works my way up to being a manager in a public library.
I'll definitely try my best to get a co-cop, hopefully in the second term or afterwards. That's very encouraging, thank you for your input. :)