Thursday, September 26, 2013

Moving On

Sometimes opportunity comes along when you least expect it. Occasionally a job posting will be announced in an email; if I see something interesting, I pass it along to my unemployed-librarian son. So when a position with the State Library was mentioned I went to the post to send him the link. In addition to that job (and I don't remember what it was) the position of Statewide Consulting Librarian was listed. I had to look twice to be sure I was reading it correctly - that has always been my Dream Job! So, after taking a deep breath I checked the post for more information. It had just been posted with a deadline about 3 weeks away. Applications are done completely online, so this was a new experience. I spend an agonizing weekend perfecting my job experience document, updating my resume and filling out the application, then submitted everything and prepared to wait. I did check the job site once and it seemed to show my application hadn't been submitted - moment of panic! I emailed the contact person, who confirmed she'd received everything, so I could relax again. So, after the closing deadline (and Labor Day, when I knew nothing would be done) I waited. Just when I was afraid I was out of the running I got the phone call about scheduling an interview. Whew! They were scheduled for one day a week later, so I had time to prepare. Interviewing has never seemed to be a strong point of mine, and I really wanted to do well, so let the research begin! We tried to think of possible questions, prepare answers, look at job skills sites - anything that might help. Finally the day before the interview my "coach" (AKA: hubby) grilled me on specific questions until I was beginning to think I'd never get the job. I emailed a colleague who gave me some very practical and reassuring advice; I spent a little more time on the State Library website and felt much more prepared. Interview Day: we arrived at the State Library (a 2-hour drive on a pleasant day) early, the committee was all people I know and have worked with so it was a very comfortable setting. Ten questions on a variety of topics related to statewide projects along with the predictable "Why do you want this job?" Since I really wanted this, it was easy to give a very enthusiastic and passionate response! After 90 minutes we were done. In the past I've had the "wish I'd said that!" experience when reflecting on the interview, but this time I couldn't come up with any improvements to responses. It was time to just wait; since this was a Thursday I expected it would be the following week before I heard anything. So, when the committee chair called the following afternoon I was almost afraid to answer, and prepared myself for the "Thanks, but we've offered it to someone else" speech. What a relief to hear "We'd like to offer you the job" instead. We talked for a few minutes more, then I had to refrain from running down the hall, shouting the news! It was later Friday afternoon, so I told just a few of the people who would need to know before heading home to celebrate. Gradually the news spread, an official announcement came out the following week, and now I've reached my last day at Bozeman Public Library. It's been 16 1/2 years, and I wasn't looking to leave, but this was too good to pass up. As a Statewide Consulting Librarian I'll be working from home as well as traveling to libraries, helping with statewide projects, going to conferences to discover more exciting things to bring back to Montana. I'm looking forward to the new experience and exploring the state!

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