Job Hunter Follow Up: Amber Hawkins

Amber Hawkins took the original survey in January 2013. Her responses appeared as Be more forthcoming about requirements. We followed up with her on December 17, 2013 and again on December 11, 2014.

Your Job

What’s your current work situation? 

Full-time as a library assistant in a large law firm.

Is this job the same as you had when we followed up with you last year? If not, please describe briefly how you got this new job.

It is not. I got laid off from my previous job and one of my coworkers at that place happened to mention me to the director of research services. I went through a recruiter, but eventually got hired.

Is your job commensurate with your skills and experience?

I don’t have any legal experience, but it’s definitely allowing me to use my foundationary library skills. Though, I am learning quite a lot.

Is the pay scale higher or lower than you were looking for?

Lower.

How your job different from what you thought you might do, when you first embarked on your job hunt?

For starters, I’m working in the legal field. I had really only been applying with public and state libraries. Also, the turnaround time is a lot quicker than I was used to.

Have you had a chance to participate in hiring any LIS workers? Any lessons or observations from the experience?

I recently sat in on some informal interviews to see how well candidates would fit in with the team we have in place. That was a really interesting experience. I think it helped when the interviewee had questions for us about our job. It made me think they were interested in the position they were applying for.

Have you had a chance to negotiate a raise and/or title change? What was that like?

No, I have not.

What’s the next step for your career?

I’m hoping that I will become a research librarian here at the law firm.

Your Perspectives

Was job hunting a positive or negative experience, for the most part?

Mostly negative as I received a lot of rejections until this position came along.

Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?

A little. Being in the area for which you are applying really helps, but I’d also add knowing someone who works there and can put in a good word for you.

Do you have any advice for job hunters and/or library school students?

We actually have a few library school students on our team. I would say to apply for positions even if you don’t have your degree. You never know what might happen.

Do you have any advice for hiring managers?

If you tell the interviewee that you’ll let them know within a week whether or not they have the job, stick to that time frame. Waiting a month before sending a rejection letter is unprofessional.

What’s your ideal work situation? (hours, location, library type, etc.)

A normal day shift (8-5 or 9-6), environment with a good team atmosphere, public or (now) legal library, some autonomy to do projects and be innovative.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I really enjoy my job now even though it’s not at all what I was looking for.

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