You win, you lose: you try, you fail. This is life. Today I am a little bruised from my latest sortie into the world of professional advancement. I do this every once in a while when I get so fed up with where I am I know I have to leave or explode. But, given my considerable financial obligations there is a profound need not to end up destitute with dog and child and partner so, I cannot just walk out of the job. Thus, I need some place to go – preferably some place nicer, kinder, smarter: more rewarding, less dispiriting.
And so to the scouring of the TES, the Guardian, other websites; the completion of job application forms. All of which for some mysterious reason are different from the last, making copy and paste impossible and taking an age to complete. Then there’s the personal statement and while you can recycle that, you do need to make is somewhat bespoke. You do need to sound as if you are addressing this particular position in this particular organisation. You need to sound genuine and you need to sound like you.
Then off it goes, your careful, considered application taking with it your hopes and dreams and fantasies of a better work-life. Too often there is no reply. And not often enough there is the yes, come for the interview response. This, my friends, as you know, can be a bit of a two edged sword. You’re really excited and pleased with yourself for getting the nod, a much needed bit of affirmation and a big shot of hope. But to get too excited at this stage is to court disappointment, even devastation when the interview does not translate into the job.
So you must proceed cautiously. Prepare assiduously. Get your ducks in a row, as an old friend would say. Prepare your bits, your lesson, your presentation. Read up on the organisation, the school: the Ofsted. Actually – read the Ofsted report BEFORE you apply. You may not like what you read, so don’t waste time applying. Remember it’s oh so easy to make a school look sexy on a website – lovely shots of new facilities, shiny smiley kiddies, a lovely banner and motto and some cheesy grinning shot of the current head. Do not be sucked in, consider where you’re going and if it really suits who you are and your career aspirations. To leave a place in desperation can lead you to foolish choices, so take care.
If you never try you never win and sometimes when you try you lose. But we have to be careful about what loss means. I’ve spent hours this week preparing for my interview, time that should have gone to my study, to work (and to the child’s creative writing story). I didn’t get the job and it looks as if I’ve wasted all that time, all my spare hours this week.
But I feel stronger about myself. On paper I look the business so that’s something. It was enough to get me to interview. Preparation for these things is never wasted if you look to the next time and learn from this. And so I am. I am considering where things didn’t pan out and, as I am determined to find a better workplace, I will ensure that the next time I have covered my bases better.
In the end, perseverance is the one thing that will win you the battle, the boy, or the job. Sometimes your face doesn’t fit; sometimes you stuff it up. But reflect, know yourself, take advice, try harder. You’ll get there. (Images courtesy Google Images)