Friday, April 3, 2009

Patron resources for job searching

New Improved Internet Job Searching Now with Social Networking is a basic resource list of job searching tools for patrons. I like that the writer has included resources who Spanish speakers, but I would advise anyone to act with caution when suggesting the recession proof job list to patrons.

Here's what happens: you have a patron who has either been laid off or is in fear for their job and you suggest that they check out the list of recession proof jobs. Many of the jobs on that list require four years (or more) of specialized education--teacher, doctor, accountant, can't become one in time for the next pay check. That's fine if you are already a nurse and your community is starving for nurses--and you will still see people who want to switch jobs in in-demand careers because they want to escape from their employer or sector, but aren't sure which button is eject--but if you have a client who was just discharged from the army and had specialized training in HR and recruitment, telling them that they have to sign on for another for years of service is not a comfort.

You need to fill out this list with community specific resources, find vertical search engines that will let you search Craiglist local or map their job searches with Google Maps, so this list is just a starting point for services to your clients.

There is also some evidence that employers are starting to tweet local job postings, so you may want to find the posters in your community, and show patrons how to follow them. Resume Bear explains how.

Embedded technologists

I'm here at Canada Moodle Moot and one of the jobs that keeps coming up is an embedded technologist: someone who helps educators understand technology and how technology can be used in education. Now, many of the people here who are introducing themselves as embedded technologists are former teachers, or current instructional designers, but there is a place for librarians at the table.

There are embedded librarians who are bringing reference into the distance learning classroom, as part of their work as reference librarians. It appears that there could be additional job options available for a librarian who can also work as an instructional designer, showing how to use technology to enhance pedagogy.

What are they doing? Embedded technologists are showing teachers/professors and students how to use the features of the elearning application that their school is using (or help support a feral LMS). For example, they would help a teacher cut and paste embed text into the HTML block in Moodle  to get a Twitter stream into a Moodle course. They would also explain why the instructor might want to use Twitter to teach.

This is another option for technology oriented librarians who have background as educators (though you might not need a background as an educator if you have the technology chops) to become an embedded technologist.

I am not a fan of the idea that you can go back to school to wait out a bad economy, but I do have an additional degree in instructional design, so I have also provided a link so you can do more research on schools (US) that offer graduate degrees in instructional design.

Monday, March 30, 2009

There isn't money in anything, so do what you love

Because I work in a career centre on a university campus, I spend time talking with students, and wonder what they are thinking about the economy and well, just what is going to happen to them in general.

I'm not the only one (and I didn't think I was):
  • I don't know any libraries that come on to campus to recruit new grads (they expect us to come to them, usually at ALA if they are gathered en masse) but you may be interested in last year's story about the slowing of corporate recruitment on campus.
  • Minnesota Public Radio did a forum asking college students and their advisors about the job market and how confident they felt. The title of the post comes from one of the speakers at the forum in response to Ben Stein's advice (which isn't all bad, unless you can't stand bodily fluids. [And if you were counting on no vomit in libraries, one of the internship position questions I got asked at a public library was, what would you do if a child vomited in the library? Answer: clean it up].) 
  • 247 Townhall, a project of One Economy (which also has some great resources on the Beehive), has some interviews with college students about their views on the economy, what their expectations are and how to fix it. They are also looking for more content.
What messages can people come away with from these forums and articles? Know what you can do with your degree and where the jobs are in your area. Look at the labor market and do some research (librarians are the only ones who have to cower when someone says, you better know how to research, cuz you better). There are still jobs out there, but you have to be realistic about pay, and you need to start looking now (December 2008 was the time you should have started, but if you haven't, crying won't put the milk back in the carton). And more school is not the solution.