I wanna be an archivist…

So… only managed to apply for ONE job in the last two days. I didn’t hit my job application target last time I was at the jobby centre either – but the advisor (a different one – not the usual misery chops) was so pleased I’d be leaving he didn’t want to see my job search and wished me a happy weekend. However, I’m not being caught out as others have by stopping applying for work – just in case my dream job is out there…

Given the only job I feel I’m naturally good at is archiving/library work, not exactly chuffed to hear on news one of the Chester Councils was axing a load of Library posts. Clearly a volunteer can step in for a Librarian with a Masters Degree (… in some cases you can!!)

At one time there was a ‘skill shortage’ of archivists, now there are more people than jobs in Archives – and the jobs mostly happen to be in London (no surprise there) and the only people who benefit are the Universities who run the courses – got a spare £5k from Mater and Pater? **rattles can**

I know of one Chartered Librarian who swapped to doing a Masters in Archiving as she couldn’t get a library job as she’d ‘no customer experience’ – despite her volunteering in a charity shop for over a year. Clearly she had the ‘wrong type of experience’.. or her employer was an arse.
I went the other way and tried to move from archives to libraries -I’ve had several interviews myself for library posts, but my face doesn’t seem to fit or I felt was making up numbers as the jobs were ‘a done deal’. Maybe with the rounds of cuts maybe ability will be a factor over who their friends are and the dead wood can finally go?
The Archivist I worked with used to play ‘spot the archivist’ on the way to some over-priced conference he was forced to attend. As he said – I’ve never seen so much man made fibre in one room before. Ha, you only have to read some of the posts on Archive forums to wonder why some people give archiving a bad name – they’re the ones’ the boss keeps from the general public,preferably in a darkened locked room – not those nice ones you see on the Family History TV programs…

I’m noticing a trend in people with transferable skills being ignored for those who already were doing the job in question. Employers refuse to train up staff, giving them the skills their staff require, in favour of someone coming pre-packed with all the skills and no training/investment required. In the end employers will be fishing from an ever decreasing pool of people, as they’re so short sighted. They (employers) also forget that people don’t live their lives to some preconceived ideal template of an employee.

Locally how can I even break into an entry level law job if I don’t have experience of the world of ambulance chasing? or get into logistics or FM as these jobs (if they exist) seem to be doing the rounds.


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