This week or two have been craaaaazy, but the good part is all that crazy gave me inspiration for this week’s post. Today I want to talk about the importance in having different skill sets in different areas. The more diverse, the better.
Anyone who has been job hunting in the last few years (let alone the last decade) will tell you that finding jobs is getting harder and harder. It doesn’t matter if you have an ironclad resume and a cover letter written by a Harvard business professor – it really means zero if all they read are the parts they make you fill out.
Once (or if) you make it past the first review of your application, they’ll look to see if you have any experience. Yes, that “I need experience to get experience” Catch-22 every millennial is getting to know and despise. If you’re a twenty-something coming out of college and looking for entry level jobs, there’s a good chance you’ve seen this:
How do you get around it?
Going back to school and getting another degree helps, but chances are you don’t want to get an MLIS or MLS, only to go back to school for another degree. Even with another degree, they’ll still want to see some modicum of experience. Sure, a degree can compensate for some experience but it may not get you to the finish line.
Internships are a great opportunity to get experience under your belt, expand your skills and make some connections! However, maybe you skipped on internships and feel like a dummy (just like me). So what then?
If those options aren’t available to you (or you already have a job but just want to climb higher), the number one thing I can recommend is to start building outside experience and skills. What do I mean by this? I mean by learning any and every skill you can and getting experience, no matter how crazy it sounds or how unlikely you’ll be using it.
Why? Because skills and experience build CONFIDENCE.
That resume may get your foot in the door to that interview, but you have to sell that confidence in the interview to get the job.
Before I was in libraries, did you know I was also:
- An actor?
- Customer Service Rep?
- Financial seminar assistant?
- Poker tournament director?
- Hair model?
When I first started getting into libraries, I didn’t think I’d get to apply my skills in a library setting. For example, my skills as a magician. “A magician? How would I do that in a library?” As it turns out, magic is a perfectly acceptable skill set. Especially in our children’s department, during our spring carnival where I performed another magic show!
What about mascot skills? Surely, my days of being Clifford the big red dog or Spider-man couldn’t possibly be used in a library.
Oh wait, they can if your library decides to get a mascot.
If you’ve never worn a mascot suit, they can be a nightmare. They’re usually heavy, sweltering on the inside and usually limit your field of vision. If you’re not used to it, then it’s a bit of a shock. And this is indoors, people – think about doing this outside in the sun at Disney World. Thankfully, quality suits like this come with some features to help; not only was I wearing a vest full of cooling packs, but the head has a built-in fan as well!
But Justin, how does somebody get into all of these things? Where do I start? HOW do I start?
This post is meant to get you thinking and getting those wheels turning. What skills do you have? What skills do you want to have? What makes you feel confident? What steps do you take to increase your confidence? Next week in Part 2, I’m going to go into the skills, techniques and thoughts that I’ve come across that might help you as well. In the meantime, you can comment here or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tell me your thoughts of any of these!
Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian