Monday, December 8, 2008

Tis the season

to run panic-stricken and screaming through the halls, under the weight of all of the extra programming, gearing up for the January term, finishing all of your overdue projects and, yes, for our friends in school, exams. This is also when we come to term with some of our new assignments, projects and events. Could Santa spare a few elves?

This is also the time for end of the year mixers, where local professional groups to check-in with their members. If you have time, this is your opportunity to start scoping out the local people and talking about how much you would like to work at library X and asking when the new postings will go up. Yes, seriously. Now is the time to find out about hiring plans and try to get introduced to HR people at mixers--too bad they sometimes mix at their own mixers, but you can work with what you've got. Mixers can be vital when you plan to work local, but they can also offer good leads on upcoming conferences and projects.

So, go out and have a beer with your friends and alumni, but keep some rules in mind:
  • One beer is enough beer. It may look cheerful and taste like you're standing on your back porch in summer, but drink with caution.
  • Don't eat so much. I'm not saying, don't eat anything, but don't eat fifteen curried pickles or five devilled eggs and find yourself chipmunk-cheeked in front of the director of the library who's hiring. Martini olives are not considered sustenance, and flicking your toothpick is as distracting as a five-year old twirling her hair.
  • Dress with care and leave the funny hat behind. Friday casual, including jeans and a toasty sweater is fine, but the heaving cleavage of your New Years dress is not.
  • Don't bring your resume. You are looking for intel, while trying to look intelligent, so it is ok to give out a business card--especially if they want your help on a project or if you would like to get in touch with them in the new year--but your resume is just going to get sprinkled with curry pickle juice. Accept their business cards, but you may just have an opportunity to make notes on a napkin--which you should not lose, so carry a notebook. Follow-up after the holidays since in-boxes get overfull in December.
  • Make a good impression. The best you can, not as the person who drunkenly giggled and gorged on amuse bouche.
If you think, pshaw, I will never do these things, you haven't been to too many holiday mixers, since they are filled with gorgers, bingers and sweatily-palmed paperwork. And stop using pshaw.

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