Today got off to a stressful start when I checked the Transport for London website on waking and saw that there were severe delays on the Tube line I take to work.  I hurried out of the house as quickly as possible without even shaving (fortunately yesterday I was too depressed to shave until late in the afternoon, so I didn’t really look unshaven until late today).  I caught the bus, but halfway to work the bus got stuck in very bad traffic, so I got off again, walked to the nearest Tube station on an unaffected line and made it in to work half an hour late.  I was just relieved it wasn’t even later.  I took fifteen minutes for lunch instead of thirty (the other thirty minutes of my lunch hour are used on attendance at Minchah and Ma’ariv, Afternoon and Evening Prayers, held in the library) and will catch up the other fifteen minutes, probably tomorrow as I need to do some planning.

The planning is partly to deal with my continual Impostor Syndrome at work.  I worry that I’m not doing anything worthwhile for the library.  This is not entirely true, as it’s a lot neater and it will be easier to find books, but if it is to be a major resource for users, as the benefactor wants, it will need some serious further work, but I’m uncertain as to what is the best next step, as I’m so far out of my comfort/experience zone.  Certainly I think some retrospective cataloguing and reclassification of some books is necessary and this could entail lobbying for Microsoft Office to be added to the library laptop and possibly for online cataloguing software.  The latter seems to be what the benefactor wants, but I’m uncertain of what steps to take to get it and am still worried that the library is too small for that level of resource.

I have wider job worries too.  I am getting some enjoyment and satisfaction from this job, but the depression lingers and so far it has had lots of slow moments.  Will I ever find a job I really enjoy?  Does anyone?  Some people seem to; I think they’re rather lucky.

I did get through the day at work, although my mood was up and down, with some depression, particularly towards the end of the work day, when I was tired and hungry.  Then I came home and did forty-five minutes of work on my novel after dinner, writing a whopping 700 words.  I hope I can keep this up!


A further thought about not fitting in to communities: I begin to worry that I just look for reasons why I don’t fit in.  The community which my job serves is very different to my home religious community.  It’s more similar to my parents’, but still different in some ways.  Yet again I find (new) reasons why I wouldn’t fit in.  I think on some level I have a mental image of myself as a loner that is hard to break down and replace with something more functional.

4 thoughts on “Impostor

  1. What you are doing is difficult — working without any professional supervision at all. Have you looked into finding a mentor from CILIP? Link here:
    Or do you know any librarians from your previous jobs who you could talk things over with? From what you say you are doing a good job and you are not an imposter! Go over your qualifications again to remind yourself. And … remember, this is just a stepping stone back into work and regaining confidence. From here I hope you will be able to find an academic or special library job which suits you even better as this job could become a little lonely I imagine, and the work will come to an end unless they plan to employ a permanent librarian.


    1. Thanks for this. I had been thinking of finding a mentor, but hadn’t got around to it yet.

      I’m not sure that there really is anyone from previous jobs who I could contact.

      My qualifications don’t really help, as getting my MA was such a mess that thinking about it makes me feel that I’m not “really” qualified.

      They do possibly intend to employ a permanent librarian, but I’m not sure that there will be enough work once the reclassifying and cataloguing is done.


  2. From what you’ve written before it sounds like your concept of fitting in involves a high degree of similarity, which would make it easy to find reasons you might not fit in. I would say compatibility is more important than similarity, which leaves a lot more room for flexibility,

    It’s probably too early to really know how much you enjoy this job. In the past it’s usually taken me about a month to start to enjoy a job and have a sense that i really know what I’m doing.


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