Building resilience in life and your career are paramount to moving forward. These career tips should help you to recover quickly and spring back from job difficulties.
Whoever said looking for a teaching job or making a career change into education is not a big deal, was uninformed or they have just been fortunate with each of their career transitions.
We all go through the job-search process multiple times in our lives. Moreover, for those of us who made the mistake of picking the ‘wrong’ career in the first place – oh, dear, who will save us!
The uncertainties involved in job-searching are mind-boggling – What are schools “really” looking for in an applicant? Are they just trying to find the cheapest teacher or are they serious about hiring? Will they consider experience instead of relevant education or vice-versa?
And once the interview process begins, the list grows – How many are interviewing for this teaching position?
Are they better or worse or comparable to your credentials?
How long might it take?
Will they inform you if you didn’t get the job?
What if you get rejected?
And oh, no if you are unemployed, which makes it even harder to secure employment, as opposed to being already working, and trying to change jobs.
With all these significant uncertainties comes great big rejections and this means we need to build resilience to weather the storm. Handling rejection is not easy – when someone says you are not “fit” for a role, repeatedly, it takes enormous courage to stand back up and keep moving forward. So, when nothing seems to be going your way, what do you do?
10 Premium Career Tips to Build Resilience
Do your homework
One aspect of building resilience is being proactive and knowing what to expect by researching your career aspirations. If you are trying to make a transition to a new career in education, research as much as possible about it, talk to common friends or acquaintances who are already teachers, attend professional events, and subscribe to relevant newsletters. Conducting effective research will increase your chances of making an informed decision. You wouldn’t want to be neck-deep in a new teaching career or a new job and realize you made a mistake that could have been avoided by investigating and turning over every stone to avoid surprises.
Take the plunge and don’t make excuses
Getting out of bed and heading off to work can be a pain if you do not like what you are doing. Looking for a career change might seem daunting at first, especially if you have been in your current role for many years, your resume needs a major overhaul, you are unsure about the job market, and so on.
Try to look at the big picture – in the long run, if it seems beneficial for you to make a move, and you feel it would be emotionally satisfying, then it is worth the time and effort. But, to avoid feeling overwhelmed, I’d recommend enlisting the help of a professional resume writer and interview coaching service to gain the confidence needed to attend and increase your odds of interview success.
“There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.” – Sophie Kinsella
Michael Jordan’s quote, about missing thousands of crucial shots throughout his career, is legendary. More recently, Tom Brady, the quarterback who steered the Patriots to their dramatic overtime win in the SuperBowl, remarked, “That is why you play until the end”.
Rejections are normal and are to be expected when you start putting yourself out there in the market. Every interview does not end with an offer. But the important thing is to understand that after many “No’s”, there will eventually be a “Yes” – you just have to keep with it and persevere.
Stay the course, be tough and never let up. You will eventually win that teaching job you so desperately want.
Don’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. If you apply to several jobs every day, but rarely receive calls for interviews, then you probably need to dig deeper to find out why. Your resume is probably going into the proverbial black hole, meaning it isn’t getting past the applicant tracking systems.
Take your research a step further; maybe it’s time to contact that acquaintance who works at your target school or school district.
What matters is not how you land that new role, as long as you do it honestly, but whether you get there at all. Referrals, online applications, and recruiters are just a few ways to reach that prospective school principal. When one job search method doesn’t work, there is no harm in trying others.
Learn, learn, learn – and stay current
Learning new skills is essential to every job, whether or not you are looking for a new one. If that new teaching job you are eyeing requires skills that you do not currently have, it makes sense to invest in and learn those new skills. There are a variety of online resources available for those who like the flexibility of learning at-will.
Subscribe to relevant teaching newsletters to keep yourself abreast of what is happening in education. Become a member of professional education associations, attend industry seminars and networking events. You just might be able to impress your interviewer with that newly-acquired knowledge, setting you apart from other candidates.
Know when to say No
There are tons of opportunities throughout the education industry, but not all leads will be a good match. When you get rejected several times in a row, it is very tempting to say ‘Yes’ to whatever comes your way. However, it is vital to resist the urge to accept something just because it was offered to you. Take a step back, and if you feel that you are not so sure, or that something is missing, then you are probably right.
Build resilience by reaching out
You have been eyeing that dream job for a few weeks now. You submitted your application, making sure every detail was perfect – however, you have still not heard back from them. And you know that the position is still open! How could they not see that you are ‘perfect’ for that role?
Reach out to that neighbor (or that friend’s friend or that LinkedIn connection) who teaches there, and who might be able to refer you as an excellent candidate for a role. But, why would that person help you find a job – what’s in it for them? This is where we need to tap into the basic human nature of the need to feel needed, or in other words, the need to feel useful to others.
People are more willing to help than we think. A cup of coffee or an offer to buy lunch would go a long way in establishing these relationships. Who knows, that person might refer you to another, who might have a much better career opportunity for you.
You could also find and meet other people who are in the same situation as you – looking for a teaching job or a new career. Trade your job-search resources and career tips to build resilience, and be a moral support to one another, taking comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your job search.
Keep an open mind
Your friend thinks you are great for this new job that just came up at her school; however, you are not so sure. But, would it really hurt to meet the school principal and spend a couple of hours getting to know the school and what they are looking for?
Worst case, you probably make a few friends at that new school, who will keep you in mind when they come across another more suitable career opportunity. Most times, we think we know what we want, and keep working towards that goal in mind, when we are meant to be doing something else altogether!
Pat yourself on the back!
You have polished your resume, submitted applications, reached out to contacts and updated your online LinkedIn profile. All that work is not easy, but you have executed it and made a brave choice to change your current situation for the better. And it definitely deserves a pat on the back (or even a movie and a night out with pals!).
Be positive and be grateful
Applying for teaching jobs and going to interviews (if, at all), only to be rejected time and again, can be emotionally exhausting. And if you are already employed, it eats away into precious family time.
In the hustle of job-hunting, we forget that there are others around us who need our attention – spouse, kids, friends. It is easy to take out our frustration on our spouse or, especially, our kids. This only alienates them towards us and takes away a vital source of support from us. Instead, make a sincere effort to focus on the positive aspects, and spend time with loved ones, secure in the feeling that something out there is waiting for you and that it is just a matter of time before you find it. Mastering the art of career resilience takes patience and a positive attitude.
And be grateful for the things that you already have. As you wait for that offer, knowing that you have done your best, take a step back and relax. That dream teaching job will be yours sooner or later.
Are you looking to transition into a teaching or any other education role? Or are you seeking to make a career change our of education?
If you’d like to make sure your resume and cover letter will make you stand out from the crowd, we invite you to check out the resume writing services we offer. We’ll make sure your resume stands out for all the right reasons to both hiring managers and applicant tracking systems.
If you need help to build your career resilience contact Candace Alstad-Davies directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free: 1-877-738-8052,