NSCN Member Success Story: Q & A with John

Read how perseverance helped John to land a new teaching position.

What is your new job?
 
I accepted a position as a full-time faculty member in the College of Education at Kean University.
 
Is this new job in a different occupation or industry for you?  If so, how did you position yourself to make the change? 
 
I started my career as a K-12 classroom teacher and then transitioned into university administration in 2000. When my position as a director in academic affairs was eliminated following the draconian budget cuts associated with the Great Recession in 2010, I was forced to cast a wider net in my job search and wound up returning to K-12 education as a central office administrator. However, after losing my job last year, I was again forced to cast a wide net and wound up back in higher education.
 
How long were you unemployed before finding a new job?
 
This bout of long-term unemployment lasted just over a year-and-a-half.
 
What was most challenging about your job search?
 
The most challenging thing was dealing with the disappointment of constantly being named a finalist in searches only to come up short and not land the position. I lost track of how many times I finished in the top two or three and didn’t get the job. After that happens a number of times, it’s easy to become frustrated and angry. Some days, I even got down on myself and wanted to throw in the towel. But, quickly, I’d realize that you just have to keep plugging away because at the end of the day, no job is going to come to you. You have to go out and get it.
 
What strategies or tools helped you get this job?
 
I can honestly say that I didn’t land my current job through a personal contact. I dutifully checked higheredjobs.com every single day so that I could apply for positions as soon as they opened. Ultimately, that strategy paid off because the position I landed was part of a new initiative that only got green lighted at the last minute. The job was posted in late June, I applied as soon as it was posted, and I got called for the interview the very next day. The folks in charge of the initiative were scrambling to hire the best people they could find on short notice in order to have everything ready to go for the new school year. So if I wasn’t checking higheredjobs.com every day and applying for positions as soon as they were posted, I would probably still be unemployed. 
 
How did you learn about the New Start Career Network (NSCN)?
 
A friend who had once been unemployed long-term referred me. I never would have known about NSCN if he hadn’t told me.
 
In what ways did NSCN assist you in your job search?
 
I think the best way it helped was through the career coaching I received. My coach Linda was helpful in crafting my new resume and giving me tips for searching for jobs, interviewing, etc.
 
What advice would you give to other NSCN members?
 
The best advice I can give them is not to give up. Giving up is easy; moving forward through obstacles is hard. You can have the best resume, the most impressive background, and the sharpest interview skills, but there is no tool more important to the job search than perseverance.