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Report Update: Job-Hunting during Low-Morale Experiences – Part 2 (March 2022)

This report update reveals qualitative responses of my job hunting during low-morale experiences data collection project. You can view earlier qualitative responses here and here.

If you haven’t started looking for a job yet, how have your job search concerns impacted your daily work?

“I feel stuck, like I’ll be stuck at my current job, and I’ll be miserable for years. This makes me question how much of the work I’m currently doing actually matters.”

“It takes so much energy to apply to jobs that I find myself exhausted all the time..”

“It’s really hard to stay motivated but I’m taking some continuing education courses to keep my spirits up. It’s helping me feel like I’m learning new things in the meantime..”

How have offers and/or rejections impacted your daily work?

“The rejections made me feel like the people who were bullying me were right about me. The offer (and new job) made my low self esteem more apparent and that’s impacting me daily.”

“Yes – the offer I received buoyed me up tremendously! It has affirmed that I *am* a good, capable, important worker…”

“The rejections are hard, but getting an offer and not being able to take it because of COVID concerns (moving out of state during nonessential travel ban) has been soul-crushing. Now I have even less motivation at work than before or to find a new job. I’m concerned another will never come around.”

How have the offers and/or rejections impacted your perceptions of the library profession?

“I was amazed at how many places are currently recruiting for someone in my position. I’m still being headhunted right now. In a way it makes me more worried about leaving – that I may not be able to live up to what I look like on paper.”

“I’m okay with the offers and even the rejections, but being “ghosted” by two systems feels demoralizing and dehumanizing.”

“Mostly I just think the problem lies with me, not LIS.”

Considering your job hunt activities (or desire to begin looking for a new job), how has your low-morale experience affected your perceptions of career mobility?

“The pandemic has certainly made things feel less mobile, and, it feels more risky to take a new job if seniority matters for layoffs. The pandemic, like all crises, has also laid bare values, competencies, and priorities, which makes career mobility feel very serious: in some cases, potentially life-threatening. That is, I have to leave this job or it could be injurious to my body and/or mind.”

“I’m thinking about leaving the field before I even use my degree.”

“Sometimes I look for jobs but I wonder if being at the institution I am currently has stunted my growth and therefore now limiting my opportunity to advance. I think maybe I need to try harder where I’m at but then the cycle repeats itself. I was a new librarian and I missed the opportunity for mentorship and now I’m scared to be stuck in limbo..”

Feel free to share other concerns, advice, or ideas about job hunting during low-morale experiences.

“In other low morale times, sometimes just browsing job openings has been enough to make me step back and appreciate what I have.”

Trying to resist the temptation to take anything else just to get out of here. I’ve been taking the time to talk to staff at other institutions to avoid potential red flags.”

“I’ve spent a LONG time now in a toxic, low-morale setting and I worry that I won’t find anything better, but I also worry that if I *do* find something better, I’ve learned a lot of bad coping habits from current situation.”

My biggest concern is recovering from my burn out. I do not want to bring it into a new position and I believe finding the energy to be enthusiastic in an interview as well as in a new job would be hard. I am not a visibly excited person, so forcing it has been extra hard.”

The survey remains open. I will periodically publish updates. 

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