Friday, March 11, 2016

CareerQuest Continues...

I had my first job coaching session on Wednesday. As this was my first full session, a large part of it consisted of my coach getting to know me and my situation better, and so I recounted my backstory and explained why I chose the field I went into in the first place. The problem for me, as usual, is that archiving is a highly specialized field - it's very specific work, and as such there are less available jobs than there are candidates, which is really frustrating, especially when you don't really have the budget to relocate for your career yet.

Of course, there's the second problem of being autistic and as such having issues with networking at events. I enjoy going to archival talks and taking notes. I learn a lot about the industry just by listening and absorbing information since I'm very observant. That will only get me so far, though, because like any other field I have to know people. My social anxiety kicks in when the events reach the networking portion, however, and I often find myself leaving early or hovering around the few people at the event in my age group (who likely don't have many contacts themselves). My career coach suggested that I try one-on-one networking, where I can contact people privately and ask if I can meet with them to get advice about breaking into the archival field, and this idea really resonated with me. I do get scared about meeting new people in general, but if it's one-on-one, there's less sensory overload, and since it won't be a job interview it'll be a lot less stressful since I tend to put way too much pressure on myself during job interviews.

I think this is definitely something I can manage, too, since I'm trained in conducting oral history interviews. If I treat it like an oral history interview, I can ask questions that allow the other person to elaborate in depth about things as I listen and take notes. You can learn a ton about people and history if you know how to ask questions that give them a chance to really explain things and tell stories, and although I haven't done an oral history in a few years I definitely still remember how to do it. I think I can adjust those skills and use them in an informational interview setting.

In the meantime, I'm officially doing some work at a film repository packaging films to be sent off to AMPAS and their archives in the city (it's paid training, too!), so I'm staying sharp and actually archiving things. I should be starting next week barring an NJ Transit strike, so hopefully they reach a deal and I can get started right away. (Side note: as someone who's used NJT for many, many years, I don't blame them for threatening to strike.) It feels really nice to be helping preserve things again - not only is it absolutely what I want to devote my life to, but it's also helping indie filmmakers and making sure their work endures!

Also, I got to go inside a nitrate vault, and if you know what else I blog about in my spare time you'll know why I was so excited about that.

No comments:

Post a Comment