33-50% odds of landing the job. If they don't get it, they dust themselves off, pick up their ego, and start the process again. Imagine going through this process while recruiting for your current school's staffing needs and running a school.
- Ask for a hand if you are overwhelmed at work. Look especially for the staff who are staying put and not in the same boat you are in. We've all been there and know how stressful job searches can be.
- Start discussing with the agencies, like Search and ISS, how upsetting it is to complete all of their paperwork for the hiring process only to have individual schools expect you to complete similar forms on their own sites. This is becoming quite time consuming and undoubtedly impacts instruction and learning. Perhaps the agencies and schools need to get on board with each other and improve the systems. As educators we have to push that discussion.
- Ask your administrators if they have any tips for making yourself more marketable. Do they have any suggestions for improving your CV or your personal statement? Ask their opinion of your areas for growth so you can prepare yourself to address them in an interview. What do they view as your greatest strengths? Use these as a focus when asked to talk about yourself.
- Network. If you see a school with an opening and know someone working there, reconnect and ask for opinions about the school and see if they mind putting in a good word for you.
- Try not to be too discouraged if you go to a fair and don't land a position right away. Sometimes the administrators are heading from one fair to another and wait until they finish to make offers for certain positions. Another type of situation could be that you are an Art teacher they find very appealing but there is a decent Art teacher attached to a partner who is an excellent Physics teacher. The school might be desperate for a Physics teacher and have to offer to the couple first. Perhaps the school is in a country that allows staff to resign quite late in the process so they must wait for the actual resignation before offering you a contract. Again, the puzzles behind the scenes are impossible for you to know, although many schools are quite upfront. If you are not going to a fair, expect to wait until they've seen candidates in person. You might be on the back of their minds but they have chosen to see what the fairs have to offer first.
- Look at this time as an exciting opportunity to take risks and try to expand your experiences. Don't be afraid to ask to interview for a position outside of your comfort zone. Did you ever read the statistic from a Hewlett Packard report where they found men will go for a job when they meet 60% of the qualifications, but women only apply if they meet 100% of them (Mohr)? Schools put out the ideal qualifications but they often cannot find the ideal candidate so why not put yourself out there if you have experience relevant to the position? One of the best decisions I made was moving from Primary to Middle School teaching because someone suggested my teaching style was perfect for the age group. Take an interview for a place you were sure you would never live. I can honestly say I never pictured myself living in Dhaka, Bangladesh before going there. There are some truly amazing school communities in challenging places. Sometimes you get the ideal school and community, sometimes it's the location, and on occasion you luck into both? Open your mind to the possibilities.
- Be careful if you are a teaching couple to carefully discuss if one of you will be willing to step back in your career if the other gets an opportunity. You don't want to have this discussion after signing. It's not easy to be a trailing partner when you are a high flier in your own career. Have the discussion early on. Ask before signing if the trailing partner lands a job with the school later on if they are considered a local hire (in other words local pay). If so, does that matter to your financial situation? What will the trailing partner do if not working?
- If you have children old enough to understand, have you shared with them that you are moving? I have a friend currently interviewing at a fair and as soon as she found out which schools wanted a second interview with her, her and her kids got on the computer and researched the schools and the cities. Although her kids will obviously not make the final decision, they had an opportunity to give input. If you only have one choice, you obviously have to take a different approach. Perhaps you ask your children to find five things that they'd like to explore if they moved to that city and three things that sound exciting about the school.
- Don't become so consumed with looking for positions that you forget to look after yourself. Have a few set times in the day that you look for positions and send applications and then let it go until the following day. Keep a check on your physical, intellectual, emotional, and social well-being and be mindful of your interactions with the people you love.
Best of luck, Sharon
https://thumbs.dreamstime.com./z/businessman-pointing-spot-world-map-275570892.jpg. Accessed 12 Jan.2017.