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Jasmin begins a new chapter in her career

When Jasmin Latimer was a child she always wanted to work in a library, but her initial study and career path took her elsewhere. It wasn't until she'd returned from working as an English teacher in Japan and was struggling to find a job that she took the plunge and made a change.

Reflecting on her early years Jasmin remembers loving trips to her local public library in Kingaroy, and even getting yelled at by the librarians to be quiet. In high school, she wanted to be an archeologist but found she was good at helping her friends study.

"After school, I decided to go to university to study writing and Japanese. I graduated with a bachelor's degree and then went and lived in Japan for two years, teaching English," said Jasmin.

"There were always fun things to do, it was great to experience a different culture and I travelled a lot of the country, but the work culture was very intense and after two years I found myself a bit burnt out, so I made the decision to return to Australia in mid 2015."

While Jasmin was in Japan she realised that more than teaching, she enjoyed helping people find information, build independence, and become self-reliant. It was only once she caught up with a friend who worked as a librarian that she realised it was a career she wanted to pursue.

"My friend really opened my eyes to the sides of library work that you wouldn’t see or even think exist. It was really cool, and I decided to give it a go. The flexibility of the profession also appealed to me," she said.

Originally unsure of her career change, Jasmin wanted to dip her toes in first and see if it was a good fit. She wasn’t ready to commit to a degree, so a Certificate III in Library and Information Services (BSB31215)* seemed like a great option to allow her to get her foot in the door.

"Being out of the Australian workforce for two years I was also struggling to find work, it was a catch-22 where I didn’t have the experience or the qualification to get a job so work experience was a must for me, and upon some research, I found that TAFE Queensland provided that," Jasmin continued.

"I was also eligible for a Certificate 3 Guarantee training subsidy, and was able to complete the course within a year, from my home with TAFE Queensland Online, in my own time and at my own pace."

When comparing her TAFE Queensland qualification to her degree study, Jasmin definitely noticed the difference between each course.

"For me, it was the work experience that TAFE Queensland helped us find and complete that really ground the theory in reality. It was much more hands-on industry experience than my uni course and gave me a real understanding of the services and tasks I would be completing in the workplace," she said.

"Plus my TAFE teacher was very flexible and approachable, and answered all my questions promptly."

So where is Jasmin now?

"During my work experience, I actually saw a job ad at TAFE Queensland for a temp library tech role, which I wasn’t yet qualified for, but I gave them a call and had a chat. After that, I added the manager I’d spoken to on LinkedIn, because networking is key, and not long after a different opportunity came up which she offered me an interview for, and within a few weeks I started work at the TAFE Queensland Coomera campus library backfilling someone on leave."

Since Jasmin finished her certificate qualification she transferred to the TAFE Queensland Toowoomba campus library where she has worked as a Library Assistant since 2017 and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma of Information Studies at university.

"One day I’d love to work in a museum because I’m interested in interactive technology in dynamic spaces. It also links back to my archaeology interests. Information studies also have very transferable skills in the GLAM sector – galleries, libraries, archives and museums," said Jasmin.

"Libraries have a lot of potential for innovation, there’s plenty of flexibility in roles and there are many opportunities for jobs. In the current climate, they are an essential resource to promote digital and information literacy."

For those considering a career change, Jasmin has the following advice.

"If you’re not happy where you are or want to achieve more, you will regret not taking a chance more than anything."

"Making a career change to this industry is the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s better than any job I’ve ever had."