I Got the Job, Part 2: A few things I’m doing differently this time around

Two months ago, I wrote about landing my first librarian position. I’ve been on the job for a little over a month now and have already learned a tiny ton. There are days when it seems my brain will burst from all the chunks and bulbs of knowledge that people keep packing into it.

Words and terms I’m hearing all the time now

“systematic review”

“evidence-based practice”




Learning is definitely my thing, so I am eating it up.

Some things feel surreal. I have a traditional professional title for the first time in my life. I go to meetings every day. People expect me to be or become an expert on certain topics, which is flattering, scary, and strange. I am working from home. I sign my name with initials, something I thought I would never do. (It is a custom in the field. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.)

That said, this not my “first time at the rodeo,” and I have learned some lessons from past jobs that are affecting how I approach this new opportunity. Here is what I am doing differently this time around:

Creating a niche. In past jobs, I have been a generalist. This time I get to specialize. I hope to zero in on health disparities among diverse populations of color.

Giving myself permission to be quiet. I firmly believe in speaking up and expressing opinions (had you guessed?), but sometimes talking can be draining. I am being more selective about when I speak and realizing that I do not have to chime in on every single discussion. Sometimes it is better to save your voice for non-workplace venues.

Integrating new and old passions into my day job. I sometimes joke about the need to keep a separation between “church and state” in terms of one’s personal and professional lives. I still believe in this, up to a point, but I now see how that approach to life can be limiting and tiring. Merging some of my creative passions in with my library work – and vice versa – will enhance my job satisfaction and help me discover new directions for my creativity. Inspired by Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis (stay tuned for a future blog post about her), I am going to start thinking of ways to incorporate my creative skills into future workplace presentations. And I definitely plan to keep writing about my work experiences on this quasi-creative blog.

On a related note: Did you know that yesterday was Equal Pay Day for Black women in the United States? That day marks just how far past one year that a black woman would have to work to make the same salary that a non-Hispanic white man makes in just one year. (A black woman would have to work about 19 months. “Makes me wanna holler…”)

But enough about working. It’s Friday, and the weekend is waiting! Have fun with it.

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pixabay


Sahadi, J. (2020, August 13). Equal Pay Day for Black women is today, August 13th. There’s a reason for that. CNN.comhttps://www.cnn.com/2020/08/13/success/black-women-equal-pay-day/index.html


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