One of the things necessary when hunting jobs is deciding what you are, what you want to be. For me, that’s a small slice of hell. Oh, yeah, I’ve been a librarian for 13 years now. But…
I’m a generalist. Worse, I’m fairly competent at most things to which I put my hands and mind. No, worse, I LIKE learning and doing new and challenging things.
I can sew, cook, solder and program. I can make a sword or a fork (among other things) at a forge. I can tan leather. I know how to use and care for several weapon systems ranging from pistols to tanks. I have atrocious penmanship, but with a lot of sweat can produce decent calligraphy, and mediocre poems. (As I’ve said before I’ve got a couple of tales to write, and will do so.) I can make furniture. I can teach. I can change a baby’s diaper and keep toddlers entertained.
But what I can do really, really well is find the answer to questions. Not least it’s due to enthusiasm of learning something new myself. But… I understand how to find it. How to ask the person to whom I’m talking the right questions to find out what I’m really seeking, and then where I’m going to need to go to start finding the answer. Because of my background there are areas in which I can find the answer faster, but I’ve managed when in completely new territory.
I have a conceit – a motto, in some regards. “I don’t know, but I can find out.”
What do I want to do? I want a job that lets me continue with my motto. Librarian (public, academic, special), Information Broker, Information Research Specialist, synthesist and more all do this sort of thing. That’s what I want.
I am not a specialist – I should not be your first choice for department X’s research specialist. But I’m an oustanding choice for the guy who helps all the departments. Or – thanks to the management skills I’ve learned – the guy who oversees each department’s research specialist, so long as I get to play some too.