There are myriad of resources, reflections, and tidbits of advice out there for second-year #SAgrads who are beginning the job search. I reflected on my experience of going through the search, finding a role, and moving 1200 miles to my new home before, but I wanted to share a few words of encouragement and some of my own advice for those who will be starting the #SAsearch. Here are a few of my thoughts on starting out the job search; please, keep in mind that the search is a finicky process and each #SApro will tell you something different about what they experienced in their first search. Not every piece of advice will work for every emerging professional so it’s always important to mentally sift through and synthesize the advice you receive.
WILL I ATTEND TPE?
I think that this is the most important question to ask yourself first. I chose not to attend TPE, but I see the value in going through the process if it’s right for you. Above all, it’s most important to remember that attending TPE does not equal walking out of the experience with a job offer in hand. It provides a fantastic opportunity to sharpen your interview skills, get some networking done in a short time, and continue to reflect on what you really want out of your first #SAsearch.
TAKE TIME TO REFLECT
I don’t think that we emphasize this piece enough to our #SAgrads. Sure, it’s important to accept the fact that your first role will not be your dream job, and that you may end up working at an institutional type or in a functional area that doesn’t work best for you. But, that doesn’t mean you should take on any role, in any city, because it was the first one offered to you.
I believe that this goes back to the application process. Before you truly get started in sending out the bulk of your applications, take some time to reflect on the following. Where do I want to live? What institutional type do I think I’ll like best? Would I be happiest in the city, college town, country, or some other setting? How do I want to challenge myself in this first role? What functional area(s) do I want to look at first?
It seems like common sense to think about these questions, but I promise that in the stress and the fray of the #SAsearch, sometimes we forget about them or we aren’t clear with ourselves on what we’re willing to sacrifice for that first role. In my first search, I wouldn’t sacrifice location for the world – or living in the city. Once I had a firm understanding of what I wanted, I knew that I could be more flexible with institutional type and functional area because I was still trying to figure out where I would thrive. So, my answers to these simple questions truly guided the way that I searched for my first role.
GO BEYOND HIGHEREDJOBS
HigherEdJobs is a great place to get started in the job search, and it’s an even better way for first-year graduate students to take a look at different postings as well as the skills and qualifications for each role. But if you’re looking for a role at a smaller institution or you simply want to broaden your search, I encourage you to expand your resources. Check the website for each institution that you’re interested in (you should be researching these schools anyway!), don’t discount social media, and use your network. I found my first job out of graduate school through a listserv. I would have never found it on HigherEdJobs or just by asking around! You never know what’s out there.
And finally, it’s incredibly important that you take time for self-care. The first stage of the job search can be the most exciting because we typically start the job search with a full tank, but that will change. If you invest in taking care of yourself now, it’ll become second nature when you really need it.
So, that’s what I have for our second-year #SAgrads! The first #SAsearch can be daunting, but I know you can do it.
Originally posted to Life in the Yellowhammer State.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Craig Bidiman on Supporting #SAGrad Success