About 15 years ago, I was sitting in a pub in London with my husband and a couple we were good friends with, talking about our jobs. One of the people at the table was a nurse. When it comes to fulfilling careers, this one is pretty much at the top of the scale for feeling like you’re doing good in the world. Her husband and my husband worked together for a record store chain, so while they were working for a large corporation, they also really believed in the product they were selling. Through their jobs they were bringing joy into people’s lives and supporting artists. I, on the other hand, was working in search engine optimisation, helping to drive increased traffic to our client’s websites. Around this time SEO was moving from reverse engineering Google algorithms and was becoming more about writing copy for Google Ads, which was just taking off. While I was good at my job and enjoyed what I was doing, it struck me at this point that helping people make more money wasn’t really where I wanted to be long term.
It took me a few more years and a country relocation before I got the opportunity to go back to university and study to be a librarian and a lot of things have happened in that time. I have so many reasons to be happy with my life but when it comes to my working life, the fact that I am now able to help people on a day-to-day basis gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Whether it’s giving a homeless person somewhere to shelter from the weather, sparking off a love of reading in a child, assisting in formatting a resume, or helping foreign-language speaking customers to practice their English, everyday as librarians we are able to visibly see ways we are helping people. And this makes me happy.