Are you a teacher who's feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Do you worry that you're feeling symptoms of burnout or are you sure you've already gotten there? Have you started to dream of doing some other kind of job or perhaps pursuing a whole different career, but you don't know what else you're even qualified to do? You don't know how to start a job search. You just feel stuck. If that sounds like you, I promise you're not alone. My name is Kitty Boitnott. I'm a career transition and job search coach and I specialize in helping burnt out teachers just like you deal not only with the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day job, but to consider what other careers might be out there waiting for you. Join me for "Teachers in Transition." In some episodes I'll be speaking to stress management techniques and how you can manage your stress on a day to day basis. In other episodes I'll be talking about career transition. What tools do you need to be successful in a job search when you're moving from one career into a totally different track? These are questions that you need answers to and I can help you find those answers. My name is Kitty Boitnott. Welcome to "Teachers in Transition." Welcome back to another episode of Teachers in Transition, the podcast and the YouTube channel. My name is Kitty. Boitnott the owner of Boitnott Coaching and Teachers in Transition. If you've listened to me at all, you know that I alternate topics each week. When we talking about stress management strategies and another week talking about career transition this week, the topic is career transition. And what I would like to talk a little bit about is the importance of approaching your job search or career change, a career transition, a career switch, whatever you're thinking of it in terms of is it , you cannot and should not try to rush it. Now , what do I mean by that? I mean that most people have the unrealistic expectation that once they've made a decision to make a change or in the event of your having been laid off or your job having disappeared because of the pandemic or for some other reason, you know, often companies merge. And when they merge , they eliminate duplications. I've met lots of people over the years in my pro bono work who were simply eliminated, their jobs were gotten rid of because companies merged departments were duplicated and individuals were let go because they didn't need so many individuals to be in the same department. And very often those decisions are based on seniority because they want to get rid of their most expensive employees first and hang on to their less expensive employees, not fair, but there was nothing in the job search world. That is. So what I want to suggest to you is that whether you've decided to make a change or whether the decision was made for you, most people have an unrealistic expectation of how long their job search should last and what they should be able to expect from their job search. And the reason for this is that they haven't had an experience with the job search often for a very long time. If you're a mid career professional, you may have looked for your last job 10, 15, 20 years ago. And trust me a whole lot has changed since then. Even if you're just out of college, you may be expecting that you're going to land your dream job sooner rather than later, and given everything that's going on in the economy right now, that may be an unrealistic expectation. So what do you do? How do you adjust your expectation ? Well, first of all, you need to learn as much as you can about what a successful job search entails. And it may not be what you think. You may think that all you need is resume and maybe a cover letter. Although people often screw up their cover letters by regurgitating, what's already in their resume. That's a mistake. They may or may not be aware that they need to have a LinkedIn profile. And they certainly don't spend enough time on the topics of networking, working your network, getting information out to the appropriate decision makers about what it is that you have to offer and what you're looking for. And finally, interview skills. Most people make the mistake of thinking that it , once you get the interview, all you need to do is show up. And there's a lot more that you need to do to prepare for the interview and to execute the interview. And one thing that you need to know right off the bat is that the average job search, and this is frankly old information, I need to update it. But before the pandemic pre pandemic pre economic meltdown, even in a good economy, people were experiencing job search times from four to nine months. I think about that. That's the average job search four to nine months. That's if four months is, if everything goes relatively smoothly, nine months, if you run into some challenges along the way or you happen, unfortunately, if you happen to be an older worker, ageism is real. I won't kid you, it's something you'd have to just deal with. You have to get over, you have to work around, you have to leverage your experience and your wisdom and your, the fact that you do have a little bit of age on you leverage that don't shy away from it, but be aware that it may actually be a barrier to your initial success. You may have to work a little harder, a little longer if you are a more veteran employee. So adjust your expectations. That part of the reason I think this is so important is that if you don't, you will get discouraged at the front end of your search and you'll give up long before you're ever successful. Long before you ever find the job that you were actually looking for, you may settle for what you think you have to take, as opposed to sticking with your job search and sticking with it long enough to find the job you actually want paid at the salary that you deserve. So if you don't approach the entire search with a realistic attitude and a realistic set of expectations, you can shoot yourself in the foot without even knowing it create folk cause that HR directors and hiring managers and recruiters will later hold against you will cause you to not be successful. So at the front end of your search, once you know, you're on the market for a job search, do your due diligence, do your homework, find out what you need to know about modern up to date, job search strategies. Or there are ton of resources that are online. All you need to do is use, as they say, the Google machine, Google, how to start a successful job search find people that you know, you can trust that they're giving you the straight up good information that you need to have. Not the, not the hype, not the stuff that might get your hopes up and cause you to have false expectations. Find people that you can trust to give you the real skinny. What is it that you're in for? And if you can find a local group, even though we're all meeting virtually these days here in my town, there are actually two , and there may be more than two that I'm just not aware of two nonprofit groups that cater to jobs seekers and, and people who are in the midst of a career change and they offer free resources. So see if you can find those groups, you can log on to their virtual meetings, get as many of those free resources. As you can learn from the people within that group. Who've been around a little while and can offer you the information that you need so that you can be successful. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. You don't have to act like you're the first person to ever look for a job or the first person ever to be in the midst of a career transition because you're not. There's loads of information out there. Find someone who recently went through a change themselves, ask them to be your mentor. And if you really want to speed up your search, you want to put a little extra behind your effort, hierarchy coach, whether you hire someone like me or any one of a number of thousands of career coaches that are available for almost every niche and accountant fight , you can find a career coach that specializes in coaching accountants. I happen to specialize in career counseling and coaching teachers who are looking to make a change. So find someone who has experience in your particular niche, assuming that you're not looking to get out of that niche. If you're looking to get out of it and find someone who specializes in that area, but get the help that you need. And don't short circuit your potential for success by having realistic expectations, I tell my clients, you cannot change your life overnight. You cannot change your life by flipping a switch. You're not going to be able to change your career by simply making the decision I'm ready for a career change. It's a process. And as with any process, you need to take it one step at a time. If you try to skip over steps, you're going to create problems for yourself. So the first step is to do a number of assessments, determine what your particular strengths, aptitudes , um, skills and talents are assess what it is that you want to do with your life. From this point on, if you want to do more of what you were in your previous job, then look for a similar job. If you want to use your skills in a different way and a different Avenue, then look for ways to use those skills in a new direction. But the first thing you have to do is self-assess, self-reflect determine what is it that you want to do, because if you don't decide what you want to do upfront, first thing, you're going to be flailing about applying for this and this and this and different kinds of jobs that you don't even really want. But you think you have to be applying for things all the time. Take a moment, take a deep breath at the beginning of your search. And instead of applying Willy nilly for jobs here and there much like throwing jello against the wall to see what's going to stick instead of approaching it that way, take some time to get real with yourself. What is it that you want to do? It may take more than a day or two. You think to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life professionally. So take that initial time to help you focus on what it is that you want to do in your next career. And then once you've decided on a specific direction, the next thing to do is to create a sense of laser focus on that. One thing that you want, that one job, that one career, that one part of your life that you want to spend the rest of your life doing. And then after that, that's when you write the resume, that's directed toward that job. That's when you write a cover letter that explains to the recipient of the resume. Quiet is that in spite of any apparent holes in your experience, you still believe you are a viable candidate. Someone who can do the job because of your passion for, or your previous volunteer work in or your new coursework that you just undertook and completed . Explain in the cover letter, not a regurgitation of your skills from the resume, make the cover letter about why you are the right person for this job. Then of course, you do need a strong LinkedIn profile and you may need to get a little bit of help with that. You need to start networking with people who can offer introductions to the decision makers who may be able to offer you opportunities. And then finally, the piece of every successful job search is a successful interview. Knowing how to do research on the job, as well as the company that you're interviewing with knowing who the people are understanding exactly what it is that you're going to be asked to do. If you get the job explaining exactly why you believe you are a good fit for this job by you against all of your competition, why you should be selected interviewing is not just about showing up for the interview. It's about doing the pre-work and the post-work. What do I mean by post-work? You send a thank you note, not just a thank you, email a real paper and pen. Thank you. Note to each individual that you talked to during the course of the interview. If it's a panel interview, you send a thank you note to every member of the panel. If it was just you and the HR director or you and the hiring manager send the , the notes to that person, but don't overlook the small things that could make a huge difference. So if you are at the beginning, middle, or maybe you're toward the end, congratulations. If you've been offered something recently, but if you're in the middle of a job search, maybe you feel like you're stuck. Maybe you feel like you're spinning your wheels. Maybe you don't know why you're not making the progress that you think you should be making. It might be time for you to get some help. Find that group, find that mentor, hire that coach because at the end of the day, every day that you're not working as a day of lost wages, an inability to pay the bills. You need a job sooner, rather than later, you need to be successful sooner, rather than later, you want to speed up your search for the white job, not just for any job. So remember this is a process you can't skip over steps. If you do, you run the risk of having to start all over again, which just delays your progress. Even more Job hunting is something that you can't simply flip the switch and have, have it done for you. No , Even if you hire like a resume writer or somebody going to write your resume for you, you're going to need to be able to tweak it for every job you apply for. So you need to learn about the resume and know that you can talk about each aspect of it. Even if you have someone else write it, it's a difficult, complex, sometimes confusing and often contradictory process. So do your homework, do your due diligence, learn the steps for yourself or get help, but don't expect that you'll meet with overnight success. You might, but it's less than likely patience, persistence, perseverance. Those are the keys to a successful job search . And that's it for today. I hope you have a wonderful week. Stay safe, stay in if you can be well. And I'll talk to you next week. So there you have it, an episode of "Teachers in Transition." I hope you enjoyed the information and I hope you'll plan to come back. Please subscribe to "Teachers in Transition" so that you can be alerted of future episodes. And let me know if you have any questions or topics that you would like me to specifically cover in a future episode. I'm more than happy to help with individual questions as well. So email me at KittyBoitnott@BoitnottCoaching.com. If you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. Hi, I'm Kitty Boitnott and this is "Teachers in Transition."