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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How I Landed the Perfect Job

I work as a contractor at the National Institutes of Health. I split my time between two different labs, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. My afternoon boss is arrogant, rude, and treats me like his personal secretary rather than the lab administrator. I spend half my time answering calls for his patients calling for his private practice. I complained to my contracting company so they asked my afternoon boss how I was doing. He told them I was doing a terrible job and so my contracting company told me last month that I had two weeks to shape up or I would be fired. I was no longer allowed to do any school work at work either.

So I acted like the model employee for two weeks and my company decided to keep me. They even discussed having me go part time in July and only working for my morning boss. But the damage had already been done. I started looking, but finding library jobs when you don't have a degree is extrememly tough right now. My County library has a hiring freeze. I was offered a job part-time in a law library in DC, but it would have cost me more to commute than I was going to make.

In May, one of the nice people in my afternoon lab sent me a link for library jobs. I saw a posting for a part-time job at GWU inputting information in a health library that takes information from NIH. So I applied for that. When I looked one day before that, I saw an entry for a summer intern/librarian for American Heritage Magazine. American Heritage is a premiere magazine for American History. It was published by Forbes, but in March of last year they decided to stop publishing it. The great, great, great grandson of the founder of National Geographic decided to pool some investors and buy it for 11 million dollars. Included was the library of the magazine, which has 15,000 books and half a million photographs.

I sent the new owner my resume and cover letter and he responded immediately. I went a couple of weeks ago and met with the editor in chief, who used to work for Smithsonian.
It wasn't really an interview, it was more of a chat about history and all the neat stuff they have. I floated some ideas of what to do with the collection. He seemed impressed. The magazine was working under deadline, so a decision about me was put on hold.

Last Thursday I met the owner at the site where the collection is in storage. He offered me the job. I told him I would give notice on Monday to my company, which I did. Apparently afternoon asshat boss told the people in the lab I was FINALLY leaving. I laughed at that. If he wants to hold in his mind that I was terrible at my job and it was a relief to have me leave that's fine with me.

Now I sit here for 7 more days. I am trying to keep going with the work, but it's hard to motivate myself. Especially in this afternoon lab. In the morning lab, I would like to leave her knowing there can be a bit of a gap while they hire someone and things will be fine. I won't be getting much money, but it's part time so I can take more classes and get my degree soon, and this is going to look wonderful on my resume. I hope to learn a lot. I should offer my classmates a tour of the collection, lol. They are going to be very jealous.

I'm not one of those "everything happens for a reason" people, but I do think that generally things have a way of working out. This is the perfect job for me right now. Yay.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Cygnus said...

Nicely done, Deb! Congrats!

5:53 AM  
Blogger kim (weltek) said...

Congratulations! What a difference it will make doing something you love.

It's funny how that becomes more important as we get older. I used to think it was all about the money. And while money is still important to me, I know how much I must make to keep my home, etc. and would never take a job above that just because of the money. I'd rather earn less for something that has meaning to me.

This will definitely help keep your mind in school, too, and you won't have to make the mental shift between work and school so much. How great!

9:15 AM  
Blogger kim (weltek) said...

Ok, I typed a long comment and blogger ate it. Basically the gist was "Congrats and how nice it will be to do something you love. It will also help not to make the work to school mental shift so hard since it's something in your field."

Yay!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Good for you Deb! It sounds like the new job is something you'll enjoy! It makes life much easier when you are happier at work. My boss has dumped the "lets have a birthday celebration for the month" on me... the organizing of it. I DON"T want to do it.. the last girl got out of it by having a baby and taking maternity leave. Ummm. No, not going there.. I'm done.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Puffy said...

Whoa! What a wonderful job, perfect for you! Congratulations. Maybe it'll turn into something permanent and exciting when you graduate.

3:06 PM  

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