When I decided to change course in my career and move from the banking and insurance world to that of education, I knew things would not be easy. In addition to going back to school to FINALLY secure my degree in elementary education, I knew the job market was already saturated with prospective teachers. Or in other words, a college education is not a free ticket to securing employment. That is true in the world of education or any other field.
The past two years of taking classes, writing papers, taking tests, over 100 hours of teacher observations, student teaching and making sure I was meeting all of the requirements set by the state and the college, was a job in itself. Especially since the majority of people who enter this profession are doing so at a much younger age.
I guess you could say that I am the Ronald Reagan of up and coming teachers. Reagan, who was nearly 20 years older than his 1984 competitor, Walter Mondale, had this memorable line during a Presidential debate on Oct. 21, 1984; “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
As I have said before, however, teaching is something I have always wanted and dreamed of doing, so to me, it has all been worth it, even if I am competing against those who are nearly two decades younger than me. Age is just a number in my opinion, and while those whipper-snappers may have age on their side, I can still battle when it comes to desire and passion!
All kidding aside, the most frustrating part is happening now.
The job search.
Looking for a job is never an enjoyable process. Making sure your resume and cover letter look good, securing references, letters of recommendation and going over potential interview questions in your head over and over is at times more stressful than actually starting a new job.
With a flooded job market, however, you need to be prepared and on top of your game.
The other day I posted a message on my Facebook page asking the following question: “What is more frustrating, interviewing for a job and not getting it or receiving an email saying that they went with another candidate without ever being interviewed?”
I was not asking the question as a way to garner sympathy for my lack of success (so far) in my search for a teaching job. I was merely wondering what others thought.
The majority of people that responded seemed to feel that being sent an email without being interviewed was worse.
But I do acknowledge that employers know what they are looking for. When you are receiving hundreds of resumes and applications for one or two jobs, you need to narrow your search. Employers will weed out, for lack of a better word, the applicants whom they feel do not fit the mold they are looking for.
It still stings, though. You want to be able to get that chance to shine, answer the questions and wow them with your charm, intelligence and overall zest for the position you are applying for. When you are not given that chance it can be rather deflating.
I know my time will come, but until then, this process is quite a roller coaster. But it is a ride I chose and I fully believe was the right choice. Good things will come.
As the great Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
And pursuing I am!