01/08/2019 by Carney Sandoe Staff | Landing the Job
More New Year’s Resolutions for Job Seekers
It's New Year's resolution time again, and whatever your opinion is of this annual tradition (“They're silly and I never stick to them,” or “I love making them and setting my sights on improving or changing things.”), we think there's no better time to reflect on your upcoming job search.
We shared seven resolutions back in 2017. As we start the first full week of the new year, here are six more to keep you motivated and inspired as a job seeker.
1. I will stay positive.
A job search can be tough. Yes, it’s hard not to become jaded or discouraged the longer it takes to find a job. Being positive, smart, articulate, energetic, thoughtful, flexible, and passionate are crucial characteristics in most school environments, so maintain your confidence and positive attitude. Job searching is difficult but no one wants to hire someone who seems unenthusiastic, demoralized, or defeated. Succumbing to negativity only makes things worse. To help you stay positive, take a daily inventory of the people and things in your life that you’re most thankful for. Starting from a place of gratitude rather than resentment always leads to better things.
2. I will log into CandidateConnect more frequently.
CandidateConnect is command central for your job search, and you should be logging in regularly. It's here you'll find instructions to follow up with schools to where your candidate portfolio has been referred, messages from schools that might have invited you to attend a Hiring Conference, important announcements from CS&A and your Placement Team, and resources on writing personal statements or asking for letters of recommendation. By logging in often to check messages, referrals, and to keep your search preferences updated, you have the best chance of a successful job search.
This one is clearly relevant to CS&A candidates, but its message applies to all job seekers: stay on top of your search. Check emails, listen to voicemails, respond in a timely fashion, and keep your job search materials up-to-date.
3. I will make decisions on referrals I receive from CS&A.
Related to #2, this resolution (also specific to CS&A candidates) is important for a couple of reasons. First, ignoring referrals and not taking the appropriate action to indicate your interest in the position will greatly hinder your exposure to hiring schools. Many schools have specific follow-up processes for candidates who are interested in an open position; you can't just sit back and wait for the school to reach out to you directly. If you fail to follow their instructions right off the bat, that doesn't start you off on a good foot with a school.
Second, your actions on your referrals provide a lot of helpful information to your Placement Associate regarding your search. One of the most important and useful things you can do is provide context when you decline a referral. Was the location not ideal? Did the position require you to teach a class that you're not comfortable with? Your feedback is used by your Placement Associate to better focus and curate your referrals.
Read up on the different types of referrals and what's expected of you for each one.
4. I will read more.
Reading does wonders for your mind. No matter your job, there is a book out there that can improve your performance, your outlook, or your personal habits. Even if you think you already know what you need to know, reading a great book on professional development can give you a new perspective.
Try keeping a reading journal. A simple note of what you read, when you read it, and how you felt about it made the little achievement of finishing another book a little more tangible — and it's an extremely convenient resource should you need to recommend a book to someone. And don't force yourself to finish a book you hate; put it down and move onto something that doesn't feel like a chore to get through.
Another idea is starting a book club with fellow faculty and staff members at your school. There's nothing like an impending deadline to get you cracking open that cover, but more than that you'll be exposed to titles you might not have selected yourself — and you'll enjoy time with your colleagues without always talking shop.
5. I will work to create an inclusive classroom.
Research by Google found that the single most important factor contributing to innovation by teams was “psychological safety,” a sense of confidence that members of a group will not be embarrassed, rejected, punished, or ridiculed for speaking up. Creating safety and inclusion for all learners is a vital role for educators, and that requires mediating between students of various sexual orientations and ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.
Take steps to make your classroom a more nurturing and equitable space. There is an abundance of articles and research available online, and many offer simple yet effective measures such as displaying your class values on active listening prominently. Attending our FORUM/Diversity is another way to start taking classroom inclusion into your own hands (learn more about this combined professional development and faculty hiring event) by networking with other educators, sharing and discussing common challenges, and learning what has worked at other schools.
6. I will strive for a better work-life balance.
We're sure there are a few eye rolls with this one. As best as you can, keep a balance between your work life and life. This may seem really tough to do, but with some organization and putting yourself first you can make a major impact on attaining balance. By getting a better balance you will be a better teacher, friend, and person. As best you can, keep school work at school and enjoy your time at home. Making yourself happy will be better for you AND your students.
7. I will take my dreams and aspirations seriously.
Are you looking to make a move from classroom teaching to administration? Have you always dreamed about living in a different part of the country? Maybe you want to pursue another advanced degree? It's common nowadays to brush our dreams under the rug or talk ourselves out of thinking we can achieve our goals. You know, the “being better off not trying from fear of failure” kind of thinking.
We're here to say you CAN and SHOULD be a little selfish in pursuing what you want in your career. Dreams make you take chances, but chances can bring more opportunities. Talk to friends and family (or your boss, if that's possible). Find a mentor who holds or has held a position similar to what you aspire. Develop a plan with actionable goals to help put you on a path towards achieving your dream.
8. I will follow CS&A on social media.
You're already on your phone in the morning, during lunch, in the evenings, and plenty of other times in between. Why not give us a “like” or “follow” to enjoy photos from schools we visit in the fall (possibly of your school!), job search tips and trips from our blog, and articles on trends and topics related to education. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
What New Year's resolutions are you making this year? Do you have any that you've successfully completed and want to share with other educators? Comment below!