I am trying to decide if right now I am in a career crisis, or if I’m just having day to day burnout. Sure, it’s really hard to be a mom to 3 kids (one of whom is about to start First grade) and still do well at my job. But I’m finding myself feeling stuck and trying to think of where I want to be in 5 years. Are the things I’m doing now going to get me there?
I am feeling a lot of frustration with my current position. Maybe it’s the slowness of summer, but I feel awfully insignificant. I especially feel insignificant when I have to work a 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm shift so that I can sit at the desk from 6:00 – 10:00, and I get no questions at all that whole time. (It’s worse on days like tomorrow, where I have to put my baby with a babysitter she’s unfamiliar with, just so I can sit at the desk for 4 hours and do nothing).
I look back at the start of my career, about 7 years ago, and wonder if I’ve made the right choices. I’ve made choices that put me in stuck positions. Most of the librarians I worked with at previous jobs have achieved tenure, but since I spent so many years in a non-tenure track position, I am years away from that. (It doesn’t help that we don’t have faculty status here, so we don’t really have a tenure and promotion system. We recently passed a document explaining it but that’s as far as we’ve gotten).
In the seven years since I entered the profession, what have I done? Well, I had two more kids, and that’s sure to take up some time. I’ve served on several committees. I’ve attended a few conferences. I even presented at one.
This time last year I was already feeling the “stuck”-ness and decided to start work towards my doctorate. I’m now about a year into it with 18 hours, and a 4.0. But what is my goal? Well, ultimately I would like to be a director or a dean of a library. I want to move into leadership. But my current position has absolutely no leadership opportunities. I do not supervise anyone. How will I get the experience I need to move towards my goals unless I do something differently?
For the moment, I *am* stuck. I can’t move my family anywhere. I need to stay here until I complete my coursework, which is about 2 years away. So, what can I do from right where I am to change things? How can I become more significant? What great ideas or accomplishments can I produce from my position as Reference and Information Literacy Librarian? I guess that’s the big question.
I welcome any mentoring anyone can offer. I have big goals and I’m not giving up, but it’s hard to accept that this is it.