Thursday, January 15

Reflections on the new year

So the holidays are officially a thing of the past. Now we look to the future. Where will I be in two weeks? Six months? A year? Who knows?!

My husband and I are shaking things up - we're going to take advantage of this miserable economy! That's right folks, we are looking to buy a home. A part of me feels awful for those who have to sell during this dismal housing market but another part of me realizes that Tim and I have had some bad breaks in the past. Maybe it is time to grab what we can, when we can.

The idea of taking on yet another sizable loan is daunting to say the least. We've spent a lot of nights pondering whether or not we can do this. In the end it always comes back to my current predicament - where do you draw the line when holding out for a professional job?

So far, my husband and I have been lucky in that his job is stable and our loans are "few" (a relative term). I have spent the last 4 months working several part time library jobs while volunteering at the local archives just so I can keep up with the required years of experience and know-how written into most job descriptions. Unfortunately, these part time jobs have suffered at the hands of the 2009 budget axeman and I now find myself in the less than lucrative position of being a professional volunteer. In the past I've heard supervisors tell others not to take staff (vs. library faculty) positions or unrelated/non-professional jobs because you will eventually need to explain these away when trying to re-enter the library and archives world.

So I ask those of you who sit on the other side of the interview desk - will this economy (and its inherent cuts to many institutions' hiring budgets) and the simple needs of putting food on the table and a roof over your head suffice as a reason to turn to jobs unrelated to my chosen profession?

This is not to say that life is all bad. As I've mentioned, there are things for which I am eternally grateful - I love living in Pittsburgh and am even more in love with the idea of moving closer into town. My family and friends are supportive and helpful (not everyone will read over your resume and cover letters 20 times a week). And thankfully, we all have our health. I do believe that 2009 will bring a bounty of good's just a matter of finding the balance between needs and wants, dreams and realities.