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Report Update: Job-Hunting during Low-Morale Experiences – Part 2 (April 2023)

This report update shares qualitative responses of from my job hunting during low-morale experiences data collection project. View earlier qualitative responses here and here, and view Part 1 of this latest update here.

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

“It is difficult to concentrate sometimes and I have daily anxiety about being in the current workplace.”

“[E]very time I experience an incident deepening my low morale, I am distracted for an hour or more searching online for job opportunities.”

“I feel paralyzed. Not good enough to do what I know I’m good at doing.”

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

“Feelings of dejection, what am I doing wrong, feeling hopeless that I won’t find anything. But, also has strengthening of skills as I do more interviews and hear and answer a variety of questions.”

“Experiencing constant rejection over a span of years while seeing less qualified people hired in the positions for which I applied has contributed to my low morale.”

“I feel discouraged and down each time, but I also find ways to rationalize why an offer was not in the cards for me.”

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

“This profession feels impossible to succeed in. I’ve been working precariously and applying for jobs for years and don’t see an end in sight. It’s honestly starting to make me suicidal.”

“Confirmed the presence of white supremacy in academic librarianship.”

“I feel like my experience is not taken seriously. I have no idea what people are looking for anymore.”

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?

“I’ve come to realize that no matter what competency I display in my current position: successful projects, continuing education, unique skills there is no way I can advance in my career. And I’ve seen several other of my peers leave the system for the same reasons I’m discouraged.”

“Just reading job descriptions is tiring. More often that I find myself opting out of applying because it’s demoralizing to submit variations of the same application portfolio to receive–if I’m a lucky–a two-sentence rejection by email.”

“I feel stuck and I am unsure of my skills and competencies. Are they transferable? I want to look outside of libraries, is that realistic? In short, a lot of self doubt.”

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

How are we supposed to get letters of recommendation? Or even talk about our recent experiences or why we want to leave?.”

I’m worried that I’m too broken and infected by this workplace to fit into another organization. I’m worried that interviewers will somehow sense that I’ve been broken by my current job.”

I recently did find a new job. It’s a much better environment and I’m so far doing better. I am still considering next moves. I don’t know if I will stay in the library and archives field or not.”

I am pretty sure the rejection I received from my final round interview was because I use a mobility aid. I met with the current librarian whose position I would be taking if I received the job, and she immediately gave me a lecture about how I should be prepared because the work is “very physical.” I’ve worked in libraries for nearly 10 years now so I’m aware of what it takes. I worry that this job just didn’t want to accommodate my need for occasional help.”

The survey remains open. I will periodically publish updates. 

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