Listening to: Work is a Four-Letter Word – The Smiths

This whole job-search thing has suddenly become less abstract (scary!) – the interview I had today at a far away public library went well enough that they want me back for a second one on Monday, and I also lined up an interview at the closeby university library. I really want the uni one, because it’s within easy cycling distance and won’t be anything like my last academic library because its subject areas include the humanities, but we’ll see. The point is, I will get something eventually, something that utilises my postgraduate qualifications and will earn me enough to stop this whole overseas thing seeming like such a pipe dream (I’ve indulged in some retail therapy over the summer, and my savings are looking a little less impressive than they might) and then I will be like a real adult. Weird (and about time).

A lot of the interview questions today focused on what I thought other people thought of me – what my colleagues would say about me as a team member, what I thought my supervisor thought of me – and I blathered on about getting along well with people and being friendly and supportive, and I guess that worked, but as I was driving home I thought, I always do that. I barely said anything about my skills or knowledge or capabilities – I barely thought of them – because deep down I seem to think the best thing I have to offer is courteousness. I mentioned various achievements, but I always have a hard time coming up with qualities. How fucked up is that? Even now, having gotten my second interview, I’m sitting here thinking “They like me, right now, they like me!”, when I’m way too old to be correlating professional success with likeability. I’m dismayed to find that I embody so totally that gender stereotype of self-deprecation and submissiveness, and that it never occurs to me that I might be intelligent or have valuable life experience or an interesting perspective or decent computer skills.

Did anyone notice the sky today? It was beautiful, full of great big rolling grey clouds.