Brash Jobs: How to Succeed in The Job Market

Hey Friends!

This edition of Brash Jobs is brought to you by some friends who make for a good story. As a member of the Florida Library Association (FLA) and a member of the FLA Facebook group, I often read posts regarding job openings, job posts, resume/job hunting questions, etc. and I came across a young lady looking for help.

fb advice

Meet Kayla.

Kayla is a 4th semester student of USC’s Masters of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) 5 semester program. When she’s not baking/cooking, waiting for the next Lindsey Stirling album, being a mom, or reading (shocker!), she’s trying to get her foot in the library industry’s door. Normally, I would censor out Kayla’s name, but she seemed pretty adamant about getting her name out there in as many outlets as possible – including this one. Well played, madam.

When I read her post, I flashed back to mid-MLIS Justin who was trying to find a job as well and having considerable trouble doing so. Thankfully, I had friends like Katy to help me network and get my foot in the door; I try to pay it forward whenever I can because of good people like that, so I messaged her to offer any advice possible.

While Kayla has no problem working in libraries, she expressed an interest in the private sector, particularly ProQuest. When I mentioned a just few other companies like Baker and TaylorDemco, Brodart and Ingram, she got all bug-eyed. She didn’t know how many private companies there are out there! Then again, “private companies in the library industry” isn’t usually a conversation you have over coffee with friends.



During my travels, I’ve met many great library professionals who work in the private sector – some amazing people, some leaning towards the shark variety. My friend Jamie, however, is one of those amazing people who is always helping out, giving advice, or trying to get you to join a board and/or committee.

(If I come back to Florida, I promise I’ll join one.)

Jamie has pretty much been the private sector since always, and jumped from Brodart to Ingram a while back. That made it very handy when Kayla wanted advice from somebody about a job at Ingram.

Kayla asked about my friend Jamie, I asked Jamie if it was okay to give her contact info, Jamie said yes, and BOOM – connections are made!



This conversation has too many exclamation points.

Traveling in both the acting and business worlds before libraries, I’ve heard, “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know” a bajillion times before. I say that’s great and all, but it’s not what OR who; I think it’s about how you help others – to be catchy, “It’s about WHAT you do to help WHO you know”. Scratch that – It’s about who you COULD know.

Sure, I could have said or done nothing and let Kayla flounder.

“I don’t know this lady, she ain’t important to me, that’s her problem.”

That’s not who we are. Librarians are dedicated to helping people learn, and we learn best with the right tools and resources. By providing information and giving Kayla a leg up, she could be well on her way to becoming a Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist that hires ME years from now.

In that case, maybe it needs to be, “It’s about WHO you knew back when they were starting”.

Quotes aside, let’s recap some of the lessons for this week:

  • If you can help somebody, help them.
  • If you can’t help but know somebody who can, bring these people together.
  • If somebody helps you, pay it forward.
  • Ingram, if you’re reading this…keep an eye on Twitter for @KaylaKim_Bell because she’s hungry for work!

One of my favorite gangster movies is the British film Layer Cake, starring Daniel Craig and Tom Hardy (before they were James Bond and Bane). While it has several memorable quotes from it – my favorite quote?

“The art of good business is being a good middleman.”

If you’ve never seen this gem of a film, watch this scene below!


That’s all I have for this week – now get out there and make some connections! If you want to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for job help, I’ll do what I can to make sure we all succeed!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian




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