Academic librarian worries: will this new job be too stressful?
September 7, 2013 1:51 PM Subscribe
I'm an academic librarian and am preparing for a job interview. I'm not sure how I feel about the new position and have all sorts of work/life balance, career, and family issues swirling around in my brain. Help me sort out the pros and cons, or find a way to quit worrying and get in a more positive head space until after the interview.
posted by anonymous to work & money
I've had a Skype interview that went fine, and they'll be flying me in for the in-person interview in the next few weeks. I like my current job and am appreciated for my work and well-compensated, but the new position focuses on an area that's both of interest to me and has good long-term growth potential in libraries and beyond. It's also in a city my new husband and I would like to live in, driving distance from my folks and an easy flight from his. (Currently we're flights-with-layovers away from both families.)
However, I'm a little worried about stress and work/life balance at the new place. Librarians at the new place are on something equivalent to tenure-track, and I would be required to publish and otherwise contribute professionally (and maybe get the boot after 5-6 years if I don't measure up?). I have no such requirements at my current job. I have eked out a few publication-like things, but the process doesn't come naturally to me. I believe I could do the work, and really the bar for publishing in the library literature is pretty low, but I'm worried about coming up with viable ideas that I could turn into articles, and getting them done before someone else publishes something similar. I'm also worried about balancing my time with publication and service requirements added to my day-to-day job.
I also would be in more of an leadership/outreach/program development role instead of technical problem-solving like I am here, and though I have successfully done this kind of thing in my current job, these kind of responsibilities are much more stressful to me than the tech stuff, and activate a lot of impostor syndrome type feelings. I worry that I'll feel like I'm not doing a good job, even if I am! I also feel impostor-esque when I look at people already working in this area who write extensive personal/professional blogs relevant to the discipline and are very active on Twitter. I worry that I won't be able to keep up with them.
There's also the kid factor. My husband and I would also like to have kids in the near future. I'm a woman and we're 33 (me) and 31. If we stayed here, we could get started pretty much immediately, and I feel that my current job would have a lot of flexibility in terms of maternity leave and flexible hours after I returned. If we moved, I'd want to get some time in on the new job before potentially getting pregnant / taking maternity leave, and I think I would have less paid leave. (How long is enough to establish yourself in a new position before taking maternity leave? One year? Two?) But it would probably ultimately be easier to be at the new place, closer to our families, once we have kids (if we're even able to... no idea about fertility stuff yet). Schools are better in the new area.
My husband is very supportive - he feels that the main factor is whether I feel that the job is a good fit for me and would be fine with staying or going. I know the in-person interview will give me a lot of good information on fit, and I can check my gut again after that, but I'd like to start thinking (thinking! not worrying!) about some of these things now, in case they offer me the job soon after the interview and we need to decide quickly.
Advice sought from you kind people:
- How do I know if a new job is a good opportunity, or more stress than it's worth? How can I use my in-person interview to help determine this, while still projecting confidence about the job?
- What's it like to have publication requirements in a job (librarian or faculty)?
- Any advice on having kids sooner in a location further away from family vs. later in a location closer to family (but still too far for casual visits / childcare help)?
- How can I stop worrying about this stuff and get in a confident and productive head space for my interview? I know that I'm a good candidate or they wouldn't be flying me out to interview (especially in this terrible job market for librarians) - help me believe it in my gut!
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's request -- restless_nomad