I think it's a safe assumption to make on this blog that we all got into librarianship out of a love for the work, and not out of a love of money or fame or something. Unless some of you are rich and famous librarians and are holding out on me. Either way, I went to library school because I like libraries and wanted to work in one. Or, at least, I wanted to do something librarianship-related, in a library or outside of one. I never went in thinking "I will only work in a traditional library!"
Unfortunately, a combination of the bad economy, my self/relationship-imposed geographic limitations, and my relative inexperience as a librarian made it incredibly difficult to find any sort of meaningful work. As you know, I ended up working in customer service at a company that sells library supplies. As many of you also know, I have not enjoyed my time in customer service, for a number of reasons. The work is frequently dull, repetitive, frustrating, and unrewarding, and although our customers are librarians and therefore usually great, I frequently deal with them when they are frustrated or angry. It's the first time in my life I have ever been really dissatisfied with the work I was doing, and it has been hard on me.
The last few weeks I have been helping our international sales department, because I speak Spanish (not fluently) and the native-speaker who is a pillar of the department was out of the office. I was essentially doing a chunk of her job on top of mine, which was overwhelming (and probably how it feels for a lot of librarians who are dealing with layoffs of coworkers) but much more rewarding. The work was more interesting, and I was dealing with customers all over the world. I also got to use my Spanish several times a day. I'm back to doing my regular work for a little while now, but I realized how much I miss Spanish and will be making sure to stay in practice, since it apparently can come in handy.
But the best and biggest change is that I will finally be moving to a new department! I applied and interviewed for another position when it was posted, and I accepted it on Friday. Starting soon, I will be an Associate Product Manger for archival products. My new position will involve a lot of marketing, which I have less experience with, but I think it will be a good thing to learn. There are definitely some drawbacks to getting this job as opposed to some of the others I have tried for outside of the company, but there are a heck of a lot of positives. I am hoping that the biggest positive will be a dramatic increase in my job satisfaction, since I had strongly felt the lack of that in my life. I will be working with a team of people who seem absolutely amazing, and I will be doing more direct work with archival materials than before, which I think will be interesting and will serve me well in my career.
I am still interested in finding a place where I can have my relationship, meaningful work, and more sunshine than I get now, but for the meantime, this change seems good and much-needed.