Tuesday 15 June 2021

Blogjune Day 15 - Scoping the field

I'm never not keeping an eye on job ads on a semi-regular basis.

That's not to say that I'm actively job-hunting - I'm really not. But I find it useful to keep an eye on what is out there, and how the job market is constantly changing for somebody with my skills and experience.

I even apply for them once in a while - often I'm genuinely interested in the role, and want to gauge how far I can get into the the application process, and if I get to sit across the table from somebody who I admire and try to make an impression on them. I'm regularly developing new skills, and I'm often curious to see what new doors they might open.

And in terms of keeping track of where the sector is going, it's also a very useful exercise in working out where the demand is changing, and where I need to develop new skills and experience. From time to time, I'll see a job and think 'yeah, that'd be a cool job to do in a few years... but first I need to get some experience doing X, Y and Z.' Hopefully, in a few years' time, those skills will still be in demand.

I do worry, though, that by trying to think 2-3 jobs down the track, I get distracted from feeling content in any given job that I'm doing at the time. When I think back to the last few roles that I was in, they came up at a time when I wasn't actively job-hunting... it was more that they were interesting opportunities that I thought I'd give a shot. But I've now reached the point where I haven't stayed in the one same position for more than about 15-18 months. In fact, I think I'm probably at a new personal record for staying in the same job - just on 17 months to the day!

I think what helps is to have a role where you can do a whole lot of different things. This was definitely the case in my previous roles at the NLA, where there were many secondment and temporary promotion opportunities, and lots of very different roles across the library. And right now, I have a lot of creative freedom to try new things, and explore different aspects of the library sector.

But still - it's good to keep at least half an eye on the horizon, and keep track of the different opportunities that are still out there. Like Hamilton, there are still a million things I haven't done...

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