Advice for the Job Hunt

Dear First-Year Teacher,

In the spring, you were pink-slipped. You held your breath, hoping to beat the odds and get your job back, but when your district decided to close down your school and three others, you knew there wasn’t a chance.

So now you’re on a job hunt.

You e-mailed me a few days ago to tell me that you had sent out 15 applications—and that was enough for one day. “I’ll do more tomorrow,” you wrote. “My butt is numb from this dang chair!”

The next day (presumably after the numbness left your butt) you sent out more applications. In this precarious economic climate you knew you couldn’t afford to apply to only a handful of schools.

A question on one of the applications puzzled you: “Why do you want to work for XYZ School District?”

Maybe, I suggested, you can find something in the district’s mission statement that you can parrot back to them and say, “And that’s why I want to work for you.” As far as I know, you took my advice.

You haven’t been invited to interview in that district yet, but you did receive another invitation to interview—in a district that you’re not terribly thrilled about.

“Great!” I e-mailed. “That was quick! When is your interview? And—need I say?—if they ask you to work for them, you’d better snap it up. This is not the economic climate to be to picky in.”

“Yeah,” you replied, “I know to take the job even if I don’t want it. Grr! There were some places that viewed my app and I really want them to call me. This sucks.”

Life does suck sometimes. We don’t always get what we want. Sometimes we don’t even come close to getting what we want—and this may be one of those times for you.

I hope that you don’t have to settle for working in district number fifteen on your list, and that you get hired in the district of your choice. There are few things more satisfying than landing the job of your dreams.

But with the competition for teaching jobs so stiff, there’s an excellent chance that the position you really want will be offered to a more experienced teacher. If so, then an attitude adjustment can help to sweeten the bitterness of disappointment, because even if we don’t get what we want, we can learn to want what we get.

Yours for a successful job hunt,
Magical Mystical Teacher

Posted on June 17, 2009, in First-year teacher. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I heard that Stones song today: “You can’t always get what you want–But if you try sometimes you might find–You get what you need.”

  2. Your words of EXPERIENCE are brilliant. . . everyone in the job hunt needs to read them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. oh man. i really needed to hear (read) this. thank you for your expertise and kindness. i appreciate you!

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