As I navigated through the job search process, I witnessed many colleagues worried and concerned with questions like “What if I don’t get an interview?”, “How do I show them I’m qualified?”, “What if they don’t like me?”, and so on. Instead, I asked myself what the search was doing for me based on what I was looking for in an institution. While searching for a job, it is a worthy investment for you to understand what matters to you throughout this process.
There are plenty of jobs you would like to have. However, I’ve noticed two kinds: jobs with advancement and jobs that are simply a job. If you see a position where you don’t believe there is growth potential, do not waste your time applying. You’ve got goals and dreams just like everyone else and it’s important to make sure you are part of a community where that can be realized.
When considering a job, one of the things I research about the institution is whether or not I could possibly earn a doctorate, second master’s, or some sort of certificate. In higher education, we are always learning, both inside and outside of the classroom. Ensure that your academic and professional endeavors are not too distanced from each other. If you can build a career and earn another degree at an institution, take advantage of it!
Realize that there will be institutions that feel you are not the best candidate; they may not find a connection with you. However, before even getting to that level, take the time to ask yourself “Why do I like them?”, “Do their values align with mine?”, “Are they the ideal institution for me?” Regardless of name, reputation, location, make sure the proper amount of time is taken to consider the “why” of your actions. When you apply for a position, make sure you fully understand why you’re applying for it. Is it because you truly believe it’s the ideal institution and position for you? Or are you just applying to see what happens and are you okay with that?
Everyone knows job search season is approaching, people are looking for jobs, and this is all part of the process. I understand looking for a new job can be stressful and challenging. I choose to be positive and develop a different perspective. My perspective is that I need to accept the institution before I give them the option to accept me in return. To anyone taking the time to read this, you have something to offer, you have a contribution to give, and you can make a difference. Make this job search enjoyable for yourself. It would be a shame to get the job of your dreams at the institution of your nightmares.
University of Vermont