Thursday, 7 October 2010

"You want to become a what?!"

Dear Friends

As some of you may already know (depending whether you've been listening to me at all over the last four months) this year I have taken a huge leap into the unknown and switched career paths.

After earning a crust for three-plus years in the financial services industry - and hereby I deny any responsibility whatsoever for anything the banks may have gotten up to in that period (remember, the stability of your bank may go down as well as up) - I came to the staggering conclusion that this was not for me.

But whence to proceed now? To which field of labour could I apply my brimming CV and my boundless enthusiasm - and of course, by now total availability - for maximum enjoyment and reward? Hm...

The answer turned out to be a happy union of skills and interests, old and new. My work experiences to date were, more or less, a mixture of working with information (i.e. setting-up, administering and supervising various databases) and people (i.e. client-facing reception roles, group-work, and my silky-smooth telephone manner).

My private interests, on the other hand, fall roughly into two categories - drama, literature and a general interest in culture and the Arts; and researching history, family history, etc. (I do have more strings to this particular bow, but, for neatness of style, let's stick at two).

Which profession would make fullest use of a literate person, good with people and with information, with creative interests and a fascination with knowledge? It turns out the answer is...

Image Courtesy of The Morrab Library Website


In point of fact, that's an unrepresentative - albeit very lovely - pictorial vision of the modern library. As I am rapidly learning, it seems librarians information professionals (if you please) are evolving into a hybrid creature: part-techie, part-community worker, part-human search engine, and part-management consultant. The bookish-end of things seems rather far off and faint at the moment, although I'm sure we'll get around to it.

For yea! That is the grail of all my questings - I am now officially a student again! Six years after graduating the first time (and TEN years after first coming up to Bristol as a bright-eyed, hope-filled newbie undergrad) I have once more hooked up to the educational system! The sensation of coming back to the world of study (and students) after six years in the outside world is quite surreal, and I am still adjusting to all the implications, even now...

This time around, I am the University of the West of England, studying for a master's degree in Information and Library Management. I'll go into what this contains in another post; suffice it to say, it is very different to the last time around.


My apologies if the first part of this sounded too much like a CV - I've written so many of the wretched things recently, it's becoming habitual. This is a very condensed version of how I got from leaving the bank to where I am now, but, concealing true names and places, it does have the saving quality of the truth about.

Anyway, you're through it now. Next post will be a weekender piece about Warren history, what became of my ancestral halls, and just what a group of French monks built on top of it...

And of course, if you have been, thanks for reading.