After tweeting the above tweet, I have read some beautiful stories about other librarians’ journeys (@fionawb, @librarianhoi, @pianica, @greengecko29, into becoming a librarian. So I guess it is now my turn to answer my own question.
After completing my Arts degree, I suddenly found myself jobless and without any direction on where to go from there. Doing an Arts degree is considered by most as being the “useless” degree. The degree that doesn’t always give you a specific profession. For me especially, having majored in languages, I had no hope of finding a job in this city. A few of my friends left the country and ended up finding fantastic jobs in this area but I had just met the love of my life so I wanted to stay put and find something local. I was working as a sales assistant so I sat the Government exam (I can’t remember what these were called exactly). It was an exam you took and eventually some government agency would find you and offer you a job. One day I got a phone call asking me to come for an interview at the Health Department Library. I got the job of a library assistant. After 3 years of study, I was to photocopy articles and do the basic of tasks – it was perfect at the time as I was focusing on my social life and dating my future husband so had a lot of fun there but it was quite depressing to know that I could do so much more and yet I was doing a mail run every morning. I started looking for other library jobs not necessarily because I wanted to work in one but mainly because I clearly was obtaining skills I could use in an interview. I applied for a job at a school and I ended up getting the job.
This job was in quite a prestigious school and I was happy for the first few years as I was living a great life. I was next door to some of the best designer shops and the most amazing restaurants. I was getting paid a hefty amount for covering, reading and selecting the most amazing fiction collection. I had the most amazing views and facilities to use as my own i.e. the swimming pool, the gym etc… and because of all this, I got lost in the moment and almost forgot my ambitions. About two years into it, I decided my brain was going stale so I decided to do a Graduate Diploma in Information Services part-time.
Everyone gets a wake up call and mine came when a stranger(who is now a very good friend of mine) came into the library one day and started talking to me about his career and when he asked me why I was still there even after completing my studies, I could not give him an answer. I guess I was comfortable where I was. It was as if someone had re-ignited the flame that was slowly dying inside me. I immediately started looking for work and was fortunate enough to be appointed in my very first role as an e-services librarian.
And from hereon my career is just becoming more and more interesting. I am so grateful that my husband supported me throughout my studies and my career-confused moments – he has been my rock throughout it all. I am also extremely grateful to my special friend who came into my life at the most appropriate time and gave me the boost (or kick in the pants I needed) to get out of my comfort zone.