I am finishing up my Master’s in education and getting ready to start my job hunt…my goal is to be working at least part-time in my field by fall '04.
My field is Adult Basic Education (or ABE) – teaching GED, literacy, and numeracy courses. What I am most qualified to do, and what I want to do, is to teach ABE/GED classes for a public school system. Vacancies in these jobs are few and far between…ABE is usually the first thing the school systems cut when the budgets are tight. When there are vacancies, there’s lots of competition.
So I’m wondering how I can best improve my chances of landing one of those few jobs. I’m going to do some volunteer work to strengthen my resume. I’m also thinking of getting professional help with my resume (if anybody has any thoughts/experience with this, I’d love to hear it). I am also going to join the local professional organizations for ABE and do some networking…as with most fields, I am finding that everybody already knows everybody else and that schools that are hiring are generally made known through the grapevine long before the jobs are posted. I am trying to do good work with the program I’m currently student teaching in, so that perhaps they might hire me or at least let me sub. In general I am feeling like a pretty small fish in a big, big pond.
For those of you with training for a specific career, how did you approach your job search? Were there any strategies that worked particularly well? Did you decide to expand your search to include other related but not “perfect fit” jobs? (For instance, I could try to get work with nonprofits, workforce skills programs, or community colleges.) Or did you just hang in there until the right job came along? If you expanded your search and landed a job, were/are you happy with your decision?
I’m also wondering how best to make contacts with those in my field if I move to a different state. My husband is planning to start law school in the fall of '04. Depending on where he goes, there may be one ABE program in the area that does what I want to be doing (unless I want to drive to a school system in another county). What would be the best way to make contact with that one program? Even if they don’t have any openings, I will probably want to volunteer with them to keep my skills sharp and try to make contacts for when a position does open up. Any ideas/advice? Other than sending an email to the director saying PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE HIRE ME over and over again
Thanks in advance,