Building Lists – A Great Tool for Me
I wasn’t always a list maker, but I can tell you, when you are looking for a job, lists work. The exciting part of deciding to live in a new city is deciding to live in a new city. You immediately have all these images and ideas about what your new life is going to look like, but getting from the decision to move to that life you’re envisioning takes time and demands action.
For me, I was still working fulltime when I decided to start looking for a job across the country. I had a lot of excitement, but I also had a lot of anxiety about actually being able to find a job. The thought of all the things I needed to do to make all of it happen felt paralyzing at first. I didn’t know where to begin. I started by buying a notebook, and making a list.
I knew I needed to talk to people, so the first list I made was a list of all the people I could possibly contact. I wrote lists of people I could ask to write recommendations or could ask to be references. I wrote lists of people I either knew or had heard lived in the city I wanted to live. I wrote lists of professional contacts I thought might have connections that might be able to help. I continued to add to the list as people suggested contacts or as I met people.
I also knew there were specific things I needed to do in order to teach in City B (this time in Virginia). I knew I needed to look into how to apply for a teaching license in the state. I made a list of items I’d have to secure before I could apply—transcripts, letters of recommendation, applications, trainings, forms to be filled out by others. I also made a list of deadlines I would need to meet, and made a list of questions I’d need to ask.
Last I made a list of districts I would target. I also made a list of things that were important to me—reputation, learning focus, location, accessibility, Next to the names of the districts, I wrote the websites for each district and things people had told me about each of the places.
The Secret of Three – Every Day
Once I had all these lists, I began choosing three things I could accomplish each day. That first day I chose one person I could contact, one transcript I could request, and printed off one application I could complete. The next day I chose another person to contact, another transcript to request, and I asked a colleague to write a letter of recommendation. Each day, it became my job search ritual, I made a list of three things I could accomplish while working fulltime, and by the end of the day I was that much closer to my goal.
Soon, my to-do list included preparing for interviews and then deciding between job offers. If you have questions or comments, let me know. I’ll be happy to chat about this process further. If you would like a coach to guide you in this job transition or ‘first real job’ process, request me. And look for my future blogs.