04/04/2023 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Do You Have a Plan B?

A pencil with two small flags on it, one that says Plan A and one that says Plan B

With the first week of April drawing to a close, our final hiring conference coming up next Friday in Washington, D.C., and the peak of independent school hiring season just barely in the rear-view mirror, early spring can be a stressful time. If you have been searching for a new job, the last few weeks may have been filled with cover letter-writing, phone interviewingcampus visiting, and conference attending.

If this sounds like you, you also likely have one or two schools that top your list among your referrals. It can also be right around this time of year that you may hear bad news — that is, you did not land the job at your dream school.

What should you do in such a situation? Regardless of what you decide, when your first choice doesn’t work out, it’s essential that you know your “Plan B.”

A few things to consider:

1. If you are currently employed…

If you are currently employed but have been waiting to sign your contract, it’s time to do some quick soul-searching. When is your contract renewal deadline? How pressing is your desire to find a new position? For how many searches are you still truly in the mix? These are all factors to consider when choosing whether your Plan B should be “sign contract by X date and resume search in the fall,” or whether you decide to forego your contract and continue job searching no matter what.

As you consider these options, keep in mind that CS&A cannot continue to refer your file if you have signed your contract for the year, unless we have a letter from your head of school confirming that they are aware of your search.

2. If you are currently unemployed…

If you do not currently have a job, you may be feeling the stress a bit more acutely. At this point, it’s time to examine your search parameters. Are you being realistic in the type of positions you’re seeking? Could you expand your search somehow — by geography, by school type, by grade level? Could you become open to the possibility of a temporary or part-time position? Each of these modifications could help your Placement Associate present more opportunities to you and might help you land the right job for you right now.

3. What’s the climate in your subject area?

Now is a good time to have a chat with your Placement Associate about the climate for your particular subject area. You can ask them historically how many openings remain or pop up in the late spring or early summer. Ask if the type of position you are seeking (and in the area in which you seek it) still exists. And you might ask point-blank for advice on whether it makes sense to close your search for the year or keep sticking it out based on your unique situation.

4. What is your end goal?

It’s essential that you know where you want to end up so you can figure out how to get there. If you are relatively happy in your current position but are looking for the next step up the wrung of your overarching career ladder, there’s no need to get desperate and give up your current position.

If you are looking to make a massive change — whether into a different subject area, a new location, etc. — talk with your Placement Associate about your options. You may need to revise your strategy for the remainder of the recruitment season.

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