Curly Interview Hair: How to


Hi y’all! So, a little warning: I have had a little wine and I am feeling pretty Awesome. Awesome with a capital A (thanks, iPad). I had a fucking bomb interview today, I looked and felt amazing – so I thought I would share with you my easy and put-together hair style. If any of you actually follow the blog and read it (cuddos to you, my friends) then you know I accepted a job as a Prison Librarian. Well, job lesson #398: no job is solid until you receive a contract. In a nut shell, the job offered me a “conditional” offer that was financially exactly where I thought I would be after a graduate degree. I accepted and thought it was conditional upon me proving I was a goodie-two shoes and clean on my drug test. Well, after WEEKS of waiting, I passed all this (thank the Lord) and was officially offered a salary $12K LOWER THAN DISCUSSED. Yes, that is a shit load lower than expected and I cried for about 3 days. I had no choice but to accept as I hate turned down other opportunities and put my faith in this job, like a naive duffus. So, low and behold, I find myself accepting a job and interviewing for others. If you fuck me, my loyalty is gone. Isn’t this how job hunting is rewarded after all? Cheap tricks work and the naive, trusting, just-out-of-school peeps get the lowest offers because they have to take it.

Back to the hair. Well with curly hair, looking put together and professional can be a bit of a challenge. So, after looking on YouTube for tutorials, I came across this one from The Small Things Blog. It is called “Easier Than It Looks Updo. “And it IS! So, here is what my curly hair looks like with the updo, and the actual video tutorial.

easier than it looks updo

l will, of course, keep you updated on the job hunt. I feel like I am on a horrible roller coaster that is making me nauseous but won’t seem to stop. You get to a point where it looks like the ride is winding down, and then it shoots to an upside down flip! I actually love roller coasters, but the analogy works. Or is it an metaphor? I think analogy. Yes, the ADHD become amplified with liquor. Fun for me, hell for everyone around me. Unless they are drunk, then I am the most entertaining (and interesting) person. Speaking of drunk, I feel like throwing an adult rager. Everything is so serious with job hunting, bills, and weddings. Maybe a kegger is just the cure? 

love, Sarah 

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Time to DE-BEAUTIFY


Yes, you heard me right. I need to not feel beautiful and I need to look boring, dull, and bland. It is not often in a girl’s life that they want to feel ugly. I shared in a post recently about Dustin Hoffman and his realization of the heartbreak us ladies go through. I, like a lot of women, have wanted to feel womanly and beautiful since I can remember.  Yet now, I need to not stand out in a crowd and need to not be remembered. This is because I just got a job as a librarian in a male prison.

I am actually super excited about this job and the opportunity to impact lives of a very under-served population. Books can and do change lives. I get to be that person that shows these men that reading can benefit their lives. I may even get to teach a few of them how to read. It is a proven fact that incarceration and illiteracy are tied together. Today, about 60% of inmates are illiterate. I may be a little idealistic here, but I think you have to be in a job like this.

Now to the big downfall of this job: I am a young and feminine woman. These men are in prison surrounded by other men. I may be one of the nice experiences they have in prison and I do not want to get any kind of sexual attention. I actually am not worried about in the prison setting. You always have a guard with you [and I believe the library is a privilege for many inmates]. I am worried about after the release. I really do not want to deal with a stalker situation or get contacted outside of the prison setting. Because of this, I have decided to look as boring as possible. Yep, I now need to try NOT to look pretty – a complete contradiction of what I have been doing my entire life.  A little liberating even? I hope I can document some of this in the blog — I feel like I am doing a social experiment!

My Steps to NOT Looking Pretty

  1. Hair must be up. Hair down is a little to sexy for this job. I think I can still do some cute up-dos!
  2. Very light make-up. No lip color, no eyeliner, very light blush. I think mascara is still ok and light powder. Maybe this will be a good chance for me to fight pimples by being make-up free? I feel life is unfair when you are worrying about pimples and wrinkles at the same time.
  3. Shop at Good Will for baggy slacks and big button down shirts.
  4. No more dresses and skirts. BOO.
  5. No heels and I have to hide my “dude” tattoo on my foot. This might strike up some conversation about my personal life [yes, I have a “sweet” to my dude] and make the inmates too … curious?
  6. Lots of sweaters and layers. Hide my curves at all cost!
  7. I think I can still paint my nails? I don’t think pink nails drives men wild.
  8. Basically, I need to just buy clothes that are as boring, unfashionable, and dull as possible. Yet, I need to look clean and put together. I am a little worried about falling into a frumpy rut. I need to make sure I dress up on the weekends and feel girly. If you haven’t figured out yet, I am a pretty girly person.
    My "dude" tattoo.

    My “dude” tattoo.

    dress

    From ALLDAY Creative Inc’s Tumblr. I do not want this reaction in the prison. No dresses for me. BOO.

Does this post sound as conceited and I imagine it does? I completely realize there may not ever be an incident and that I am stereotyping these men into a horny and uncontrollable box. Nor do I think I will be a hot commodity in the prison yard. But I am aware that the prison guards call the librarians “inmate lovers” because it is our duty to help them. I also am aware  library experiences in a prison setting can be a positive interaction for inmates, compared to other experiences they may have in prison.  Knowing all this, I feel how I portray myself with my clothes will greatly impact how I am treated. Shit, sometimes I envy men and their penises. They don’t ever need to worry about looking too sexual because their top shows the shape of their breasts.

On a funny note, I did try to research “how not to look pretty” and I didn’t find anything. Shocking right? No woman has ever tried to look boring on purpose! I did find this awful country song “Try Not to Look So Pretty” by Dwight Yoakam.  I guess this is my new anthem.

love, Sarah

Second Interview — Top 10 Questions to Ask


job-interview

So, last week I had a second interview for a job I kind of wanted. To be honest, it sounded like the perfect job for me but I was worried about the work culture. It’s like one of those guys that looks great on paper, but you have this strange feeling that something is off.  For the purpose of this post, I will call the company KBO Inc. *wink, wink to my best friend*

I think I should give you a little background on how I got here.  I have been on the job hunt for many months now and, in a week, I received three different interviews. When I say “in a week” I literally mean I had no interviews for the last three months and one week I had three interviews with three different companies. Here is the breakdown:

  • KBO Inc. is a corporate company. I had one interview and I had a follow up interview! They offered me the job and I turned it down because they were low balling me. They offered such a low salary – it was the same amount that I made right out of my undergrad.
  • Local University interviewed me for an part-time, temporary library specialist. Pays shit and will end at the completion of Fall semester with no guarantee for re-hire. However, they offered me the job and the experience will be valuable. I accepted and start today!
  • Prison librarian interview. The interview went great but the pay is very low, the process takes too long, and it is a male prison! It would be full of good stories, I am sure 🙂

Since I had this second interview with KBO Inc, and the University had yet to officially offer me a job in writing, I was again in job limbo. Because of this you, my fabulous few readers, get to see my top 10 questions that should be asked in a job interview. I have scoured the web and found these questions/tips to be the most relevant, and least pompous, suggestions. Not sure if you should ask all 10 [you don’t want to interrogate the interviewer]. I asked these questions in my interview with KBO Inc. and got the offer by the end of the day. My potential boss even commented that my questions reflected my critical thinking, interest in the company, and that I just “got” it.

TOP 10 INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. What exactly is this positions responsibilities and what would you like to see completed in the first 6 months of this position?
  2. How do you think an employee in this position could best impact the company?
  3. What do you value about this company, and why do you enjoy working here?
  4. What are organizations priority for the next few years? Does the company have a 5 year plan?
  5. How are decisions made – and how are those decisions communicated to the staff?
  6. What kinds of people really thrive in your organization?
  7. What is the most important and pressing problem for the new hire to tackle?
  8. What is the company’s code of ethics and how is it communicated to employees?
  9. Could you give me a bit more detail on the salary range for this position and the benefits offered employees? [Be careful bringing up salary at this stage. It was important for me to bring up salary because of the other opportunities available. They listened and nodded when I said what I wanted – $25 and hour – and then later offered me about the equivalent of $11-17 an hour].

OTHER SECOND INTERVIEW TIPS

  • If you will be meeting with various people (as I did) make sure to share different stories with different people. It is assumed they will all meet together to discuss you and you want each person to share a different strength. Sharing the same story 5 times shows a lack of variety. These are good questions to ask potential co-workers:
    • What’s it really like to work here? Do you like it here?
    • What skills and characteristics does the company value?
    • Do you feel as though you know what is expected of you?
    • How do people from different departments interact?
    • Are there opportunities for further training and education?
    • How do people get promoted around here?
    • How effectively does the company communicate to its employees?
  • Now that you are more familiar with the position and the company, put yourself in their shoes. Answer their questions from their point of view. Always provide examples.
  • Request business cards and write down names of each individual you meet. You may want to send handwritten thank you cards. In past experience, this is a MUST.

RESOURCES

I hope this helps all you job hunters! While I now have two part-time jobs, I feel I am getting closer and closer to a real professional job.  All the interviews are annoying [and might feel like a waste of time] but I think they are preparing me for something … not yet sure what that something is.

love, Sarah

Job Hunting Tip!


I have been on the job hunt for many months now and finally landed two interviews this week! Yahoo! However, I have found myself in a little pickle. One job I applied for was so haphazardly done, I don’t remember the job description, minimum requirements, or the pay rate from the posting. When they asked if I would interview I almost yelled, “Of course! Are you fucking kidding me!” but I kept my cool and was all, “I would be delighted. I am free anytime on Thursday. When is best for you?” After we scheduled the time, I tried to find the job posting and… NOTHING. It has been taken down and I can’t find any indication it ever existed.

This long winded story has one moral:

Copy and paste the posting details for all job applications you submit.

Don’t let this be you! Save all job posting info.

love, Sarah

Why can’t American job applications be like this?


The-Bodleian-Library-006

Original Image — Copyright John Downing/Rex

So, I went out on a limb and applied for a job at Oxford University in the UK which has the most romantic, best fucking library in the whole world (the Bodleian Library which was the model library for the Hogwarts Library in Harry Potter). Obviously, it’s intimidating and feels completely absurd to even apply. I was nervous and worried what the process would be like, but it was the easiest application I have ever completed and by far the most considerate.

Anyone applying to librarian or professional jobs in the United States knows how harsh the job descriptions and requirements can be.  For example, this is a quote from a Digital Research Services Librarian for the Humanities (a job similar to the one I applied to at Oxford). It says the minimum requirements are:

Education/Licensing: An advanced degree in a humanities discipline (Master’s degree required, doctoral degree preferred) (with preference for art/art history or modern languages) or science discipline. An additional ALA-accredited MLS preferred.

Required qualifications include: professional-level work experience in an academic library or equivalent research setting; demonstrable understanding of the research processes employed in a range of disciplines with particular focus on the research data lifecycle; demonstrated expertise employing digital tools for e-research, including big data management and curation, text mining, research practices relating to data, preservation, and retrieval; demonstrated ability to lead change.

Is your brain reeling yet? Two Master’s degrees, doctoral preferred … Basically, if you don’t have these qualifications and didn’t spend your entire life in school to make $50k: go fuck yourself. On the other hand, Oxford considers these the essential qualifications for their position of Social Sciences Research Data Librarian:

1. A good undergraduate degree and a higher degree in social science or librarianship/information science.

2. An informed understanding of social science information needs and uses, research methodologies, and knowledge of scholarly communication patterns.

3. Demonstrably excellent communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively in a complex organization including experience of building effective working relationships with faculty.

4. Demonstrably excellent I.T. skills and highly competent in searching a wide range of online scholarly materials including data resources.

5. Understanding of legal, policy and ethical frameworks governing research data and information.

Also, look at their explanation of how work experience can be gained, as considered by one of the most famous and prestigious universities in the entire world:

Your skills and experience may have been gained though paid employment, voluntary/community work, domestic responsibilities, spare-time activities, and training.

I am still in shock … They recognize that people can gain professional skills through domestic responsibilities and spare-time activities? The job applications I have seen usually state that you MUST have a minimum of 3 years experience in the position you are applying for. It begs the questions: how the hell do you get experience and what if your “experience” is gained through non-traditional means?

This job posting also gave amazing information on the application process, when applications would be short-listed, and an exact time line when interviews would be conducted.  It is a huge relief to know that if I am not contacted by the interview date I didn’t make it to their list. This is unlike most applications I have completed that state you can not contact them, they will not contact you, and best of luck in waiting around in confusion for 6 months.

As for me, I doubt I will hear anything from Oxford. The application closed a few days ago, but in general the purpose was to spread my job hunting wings and feel professionally hopeful and adventurous.  I did spend a day (or two 🙂 ) imagining us moving to Oxford.  How it looks: We are happily living in a cottage right by campus.  My boyfriend (cough, cough — husband for the Visa) is at home caring for our beautiful British babies and as happy as can be.  Every day I riding my bike home for lunch, we sit on the grass by the river and have picnics, laughing about how silly academics are.  Oh no! I must be off! Look at the time.  I kiss my man and babies, jump on my bike — wearing a flowing cotton dress and looking rather British.  You see, I must get back to the Bodleian because a famous scholar studying C.S. Lewis needs some materials and to bounce ideas off me.  I think I will stay in this dream life for a while….

oxford_bodleian_apple_girl_bike_tall

Photographer Unknown — Bicycle and Girl at Bodleian Library Oxford, England