My dream job among the books
I entered high school in Brisbane in 1985. At that time, trade with Japan was big and so learning the Japanese language was popular. I took Japanese and found that I was good at it and really enjoyed it.
I continued my study of Japanese with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (1990-1992). I then did the logical thing and went to teach English in Japan in 1993. The logical thing but still an adventure for a 20 year old.
My work there ended in early 1994, and I had no clear plans. I knew the study world, so I returned to Auckland and did a MA in Japanese.
Finishing this at the end of 1995, I was saying 'what next'? Well teaching is a good reliable career, with plenty of opportunity, so I went to Auckland College of Education for a year to do a Diploma in Teaching.
I then taught Japanese for four years - a year in Whangarei and three on the North Shore. However, I just wasn't happy. Trying to discipline Year 10 students wasn't my scene.
So, I changed careers to turn what was a personal passion into a career - travel planning. I retrained, completing an Advanced Diploma in Travel, Tourism & IT in 2001, and started work as a travel consultant towards the end of that year.
I took a big pay cut from being a high-school teacher, but I thought I was entering a career that I would love. I did love the travel planning side of the work but, unexpectedly, found that the job was much more about sales, and less about travel planning.
You had to be a good salesman to succeed. It was definitely possible to do hours of work, and then see your customer book with someone else. I also found that the job was very stressful, and was very poorly paid.
In 2006 I decided I'd had enough. I considered combining my teaching skills and travel skills together, to become a tutor at a travel college. However, I wasn't able to get any jobs in that area.
After being unemployed for a couple of months I was in my local library one day and thought, I wonder if I would like working here? I certainly like being here.
I decided that I would like to go down this career path, and so started retraining to be a librarian. I got my 'foot-in-the-door' into the profession at Waitakere Libraries, and very quickly realised that I had found what I was meant to do for the rest of my life.
I worked for three years there, before getting the opportunity to move over into the tertiary library sector with Unitec. This is where I work now, as an information librarian.
I really, really love my job, even though I will never make huge bucks doing it. It can be stressful at times, but nowhere near the stress of travel consultancy work.
It is such a joy being able to help students find information for their studies, and be part of getting them to the place where they become skilled at using information in their assignment.
I have since completed my Master of Information Studies degree, part time, while working full time. An academic library is an awesome place to work, and I am very very happy.
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