Career self-help books

I am about 1/3 of the way through What’s the alternative?:  Career options for librarians and info pros by Rachel Gordon, which goes over some nontraditional avenues for utilizing Library & Information Science skills.  I have just made it to the chapter where the author talks about cobbling together multiple income streams to make a living (which is, unfortunately, looking like it’s something I’ll need to do — given my job interests).

I’m glad the tone of the book has picked up; the first two chapters, in hindsight, feel relatively…inapplicable to my situation.  I’m not a highly social type, and that is what makes most library positions I know of appear distasteful to me; but Gordon seems to assume that I’m a typical Library person, and…I’m not really, from what I can see.

I have high ethics; I like to help people; I see the flaws in capitalism (though it would be a mistake to suggest that I don’t like to buy things or that I see money to be worthless; the major issue is that the system does not work ideally for a very large number of people).  What I’m not is someone who can easily look forward to routinely dealing with difficult personalities and being in charge of disciplining patrons, or leading a group Storytime.

What’s weird is that Gordon mentions another book that I had picked up at a different time, then sold back, I think; but I must have bought it again because it’s on my shelf and it isn’t the original used copy I had, which someone had tried to rip in half.  This is Refuse to choose, by Barbara Sher.  (It looks like I stopped at Chapter 5, for the latter.)

Not bad, for someone who majorly started reading this text, today?  On top of these two, I still have You majored in what?:  Mapping your path from chaos to career, by Katharine Brooks.  I still haven’t made it all the way through You majored in what? (it’s a workbook, not really a straight reading book), though it has helped me a good deal.  I should probably finish What’s the alternative?, hopefully before the week is out, and then start in on something else, now that I know that my mind needs to be stimulated to stop it from imploding (I get mood and anxiety issues along with embodiment issues, when I don’t think enough).

Now that I look back on that Sher book…I’m wondering if I’m even in the target market (something I learned in Business courses is that one has to self-select themselves out of any marketing blasted to the world; it isn’t necessarily directed at them, though from the perspective of a viewer it must seem like it’s all directed at them).  On a cursory glance, it talks about “Scanners” (as a personality type) and aims to further define the subtypes of “Scanners.”  This would surely have fit me just out of college (the copyright date is 2006, right after I graduated), but…growth can happen over a decade.

And, right, there is that book by Susan Cain, Quiet:  The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, that my counselor wanted me to read, which I’m not reading so much right now because I have an appointment coming up in two days and…Gordon’s book may be more applicable, right now.  Quiet is more of a background- or self-knowledge book (though with vastly more credibility, to me, than Refuse to choose, the latter of which is based on…what knowledge?); What’s the alternative? is more of a handbook for people who have Library and Information Science skills who are unhappy in a library setting (although it seems to be aimed at people who would fit well into a library setting…).

I wonder if my Research Methodologies class is going to call into effect the fact that the book I’m currently reading references other works I have experience with and don’t consider fully reliable…

Ha!  There’s a way to work-in that graduate skillset!  Though Research Methodologies doesn’t start for about another three weeks, maybe I can utilize this time to do some preparation for the work I will almost certainly have to put in…

And now that I have arranged my post-coordinate indexing (i.e. tags and categories), I’m going back to reading, for now…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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