How you can Support Yourself Through Changing Career

Sometimes your new job isn’t what you expected and/or support in your new role isn’t what you need. I left a country librarian job to work as a teacher in Sydney. It was a big move, but I was optimistic and excited about it. The reality of the situation was that of course not everything will be awesome – life isn’t perfect.

I was living in a big city on my own starting a new career, with no friends or family. What helped me to cope?

My presentation will be about the reality of the change and what I did to support myself in the new position. Things I implemented: Mentors – through ALIA and on the job, helpful and insightful people to talk to who have been or were in similar positions to me. Training, saying yes to professional development – new teacher training and any PD that was applicable to my new position. I am passionate about professional development and learning as much as I could in my new career was of utmost importance. All that training paid off as I was able to become a Distinguished Certified Professional.

Gratitude – dwelling on the positives of my new position and living in a city. My students were amazing, and I could now participate in the amazing activities and events that a big city offers. I was slowly making new friends and I was able to see family that lived on the coast. Mindfulness – focusing on the now and not getting caught up in anxiety. I had to implement focusing on the present, focusing on the task that needed to be completed. I couldn’t worry about all the things I had to do in the future that I didn’t know how to complete.

Talk or write it out – it is helpful to talk or write about how you are feeling so you can analysis your thoughts. Am I being realistic? Is this really a big deal? We can exaggerate our feelings instead of being balanced. Talking or writing about it can help us to see if we are being balanced. I have learnt that you can take steps to help yourself in your situation. But, if you simply aren’t happy, there is nothing wrong with trying something else and moving on (if you have a realistic frame of mind). I realised that I loved working as a librarian in the country, so I am now doing that now and working part-time as a teacher. I now have the best of both worlds and I am using the positive habits I implemented.

Michelle Coxsen

Librarian, TAFE NSW

Author Bio

Michelle has worked in academic libraries for twenty years and has recently started teaching library studies. Michelle is passionate about professional development and has recently been admitted to the Distinguished Certified Professional membership of ALIA. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Information Studies. She is passionate about volunteer work and giving back to her community and for the past several years has worked as a volunteer in animal welfare. She owns two cats: Minty and Monty, and owns hundreds of books.