New chapters


I start my new job tomorrow.

“I start my new job tomorrow.”

Six words, none of them complex.  The sentence as a whole probably isn’t all that earth-shattering, either, even if you put it in quotation marks.  But it is a momentous thing for me to write, and it brings distinctly mixed feelings.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am terribly excited.  The new position (my first permanent “professional” role)  is a fantastic opportunity, a step into an exciting new area for me.  The library I am moving to is amazing – an old building with seriously interesting history, yet using up to date library technology.  The campus is a fascinating one where three universities work together, pooling some of their resources.  And I will be exercising skills which I haven’t had as much chance to exercise as I would have liked – one aspect of the role which I am particularly looking forward to is information skills training, teaching students better ways to find and use information for their studies.

So why the mixed feelings?  Well, I had been working in the same place (well, in two different buildings, but still the same employer) for over ten years, the whole of my post-university working life.  Therefore, I am naturally somewhat institutionalised, having become accustomed to one way of doing things, and one way only.  I imagine the strangest things will throw me.  More importantly, though, I have formed many great relationships with the people I have been working with and will miss them hugely.  They have been a daily part of my life and quite apart from the support and the laughter, I know their little ways very well, and I’m sure they know mine inside-out too.

I’m not going too far away, and will still be in contact with some of them professionally (and hopefully many more of them socially), but it feels very strange to be leaving them behind.  I will pass the Shiny New Learning Centre on the way to the train station every morning.  Today, I made that trip in order to buy my season ticket, and as I walked along the city walls which overlook the building, I welled up.  It is extraordinarily sad to be closing that very long chapter of my life.

But now I have a new chapter to look forward to.  A new set of colleagues who have never seen me pretending to be an old man, a genie or a Nazi soldier.  A new set of responsibilities.  New courses to get acquainted with.  New ways of doing the library thing, of using social media to interact with students, of engaging with academic departments, of thinking about information.

On my last day, I was presented with many things by my lovely colleagues.  These included cards a-plenty, some Batman handkerchiefs, a badge that suggests I may randomly burst into song at any moment (clearly untrue), an Amazon gift voucher, theatre tokens, a DVD, chocolates and a book detailing the “era” during which I worked there.  This included photos of colleagues old and new, along with talk of ducklings, moorhens, S Club Library, hard hats, fun times and hard times.  My colleagues were very generous, but I could think of little more to say than “thank you” and “goodbye”.

It’s not just my professional life that is affected.  I will now have one late night duty each week and a journey of nearly an hour and a half each day from home to work (plus the same in the other direction, of course).  This will naturally change things.  I will only be able to commit to doing one show at a time.  And about time too, really.  I have been spending far too much time pretending to be other people and not enough time being me.  A few more nights in, or a few more opportunities to see friends in locations other than the rehearsal room will surely do me no harm.  A definite plus is that the commute will give me a chance to get through some of the mountain of unread paperback books which my bedroom is harbouring.  Those neglected books have been giving me funny looks for a while now – hopefully I can start reading them before they mount a revolution.

I am hoping that 2011 will be a bit of a new start here chez Singing Librarian as well.  I have some continuing series of posts I would like to start, bringing an occasional suggestion of structure to my scattershot blogging style.  I also hope to do something about the blog’s imbalance – I tend to write much more about singing (and associated activities) than the joys of being a librarian.  The singing isn’t going away, either in life or on the blog, but the library world deserves more of an airing.

So tomorrow when I wake, it will be the start of a new chapter.  I’m excited and scared.  I’m sad and thrilled.  I’m apprehensive and buzzing with anticipation.  For me, this new job is literally life changing.  Bring. It. On.

  1. It’ll be grand. Hope tomorrow goes well and look forward to hearing about it.

    • Trish
    • January 18th, 2011

    It must really seem like the end of an era after ten years. But an exciting new challenge – looking forward to reading all about it.

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