CPD23: Thing 21 Promoting yourself in job applications and at interview

Thing 21: Promoting yourself in job applications and at interview

As someone who’s been in the same job for six years but only has a contract till Christmas, this is a very useful Thing.
Interests – Personal
Children’s Fiction (old and new)
Crime fiction
Folk music
Clog dancing (yes, really…)
Scrapbooking/crafting
National Trust/English Heritage properties

Interests – Work related
Cataloguing
Rare books
Project management
So obviously my dream job would be managing a project to catalogue a collection of books which included children’s fiction and crime fiction….  Or a folk music library.  Whilst that might happen, I think I would be waiting a long time for it to come along.  Particularly with a location limitation of “north east England, preferably Newcastle”.
I’ve found that I can craft my existing job to fit what I love instead of trying to find a new specifically cataloguing focused job.  Instead I  have promoted the importance of cataloguing to my trustees and implemented a new system.  As part of this, they have agreed that I need to spend the majority of my time correcting the existing catalogue records and pulling them up to MARC standards.  Sadly I also have to find time to manage the volunteers and the digitization projects but at least now I can officially justify how I spend the majority of my time.
My CV database is very much a paper file, but I am good about updating it with the training I go on and events that I attend.  Blogging has been a huge help with that – if nothing else, I have the blog entry to remind me of what I learnt from each event.
Interviews on the other hand, I hate with a passion.  I still partly believe that I got my existing job because I turned up at the interview despite a severe kidney infection and a canula for IV antibiotics still in my arm.  The hospital let me out for 3 hours for the interview then I had to go straight back in.  I sweet talked the consultant into it…  (When I got the job, I did take the staff at the hospital a very large box of biscuits.  I felt they deserved it)  I think the staff here decided that I really, really wanted the job!
I have an additional decision to make with interviews as well.  Do I disclose as a disabled person?  With the right adaptations, and on the right medications,  most days I no longer “feel” disabled but I accept that if I tried to do the job without those I would feel extremely disabled to the point of not being able to walk at all, or do a very good job as I would be in far too much pain to think clearly.  Perhaps I’m lucky that (most days) I have an invisible disability, (MCTD) but it also means I have to make that choice at some point in the jobseeking process.  I didn’t tell my existing employers until I was some months into the job, and just quietly created my adaptations for myself, using equipment I had bought at university thanks to Disabled Students Allowance.
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Filed under cataloguing, CPD 23

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