I placed a follow-up call with the museum to check on the status of the search, and found out I was not the chosen candidate. That was quite a blow, but I am definitely choosing to focus on what I can take from this and keep it in perspective. That’s working pretty well for me. After all, I still have a job that I love and other possibilties in the queue. And as a good friend pointed out last week, what would I have to look forward to if all my dreams came true by the age of 30?

The director was kind enough to give me a bit of feedback on the decision, which provided some consolation as well as some frustration. I had all the qualifications and “would have been a great fit”, but was apparently up against another candidate with more “longevity” in the New Mexico library community. In part I think that refers to professional experience, but in part they went with the person they know. I can’t really compete against that. So it’s not personal…

I am glad I decided to set up the meeting with the other library for later in the week. I’m curious to find out their continued interest – maybe it’s just heads-up on an entirely different position. I think it’s a good sign in any case that I stuck out enough as a candidate to stay in their radar. That’s true with the other interview as well. To be told that I would have had the position if not for the other person is frustrating, but it also means that I was well-liked, qualified, and will be remembered (and hopefully recommended) for that in the future. In the slightly nepotistic environment of library hiring – particularly New Mexico libraries – such name and face recognition will be extremely important to me during the evolution of my career. I’ve only been here a year, and I’m obviously still seen as a newbie. The wisest plan of action seems to be to meet as many librarians as possible and create networking opportunities, so that one day I will be that person who does get the dream job through my qualifications and my name recognition. That’s just how the game is played.