JusJoJan #16: Experience

Once, a few years ago, I wrote a blurb on LinkedIn about having or not having experience when looking for a job. It still perplexes me that you are kind-of screwed no matter what, unless of course you find the perfect fit, which is rare but possible!

When younger people graduate from college they have limited experience. In today’s world, unlike when I was in school, internships and other practicum are widely offered and encouraged. Yes, I know, they had them back in my day. In fact, I did one! I spent a semester working in Walt Disney World in Florida. I was a salesperson, a team member if I recall the official name, at Epcot Center in the shops right at the beginning of the World Showcase. I also sold “glow” in the evenings. This experience was fantastic and I met my best friend there and we are still very close!
Anyhow, it seems to me that now this is the norm, not the exception. That being said, some students do graduate with experience, however, if they loved what they were doing they were probably offered jobs and not looking for a job right out of school.

Then you have the other group of job-seekers, those who have worked for many-a-year and have too much experience, hence…not a good fit, “we are looking for someone who is fairly new to this”.

I wrote the article because at the time I was looking for a teaching job. You see, I have two masters degrees and certification in regular ed and special ed. I then went on to get my certification in Administration. Great! right? Wrong! I put myself in a position where public schools now have to offer me too much money for their budgets based on my experience and level of education. Bit me in the butt! My last job, at a high school, was great and because one director knew another director, so they knew I was worth every penny! Now, who knows?
So, if I want to ever go back in to the classroom I probably don’t have a chance getting a job unless the district is desperate. If I want to go into Administration then I am at a good place because I don’t have that experience and therefore, start at the bottom of the ladder. Sounds like it would be okay, right? Well, then you get to the interview and they want to know what experience you have with administration, and you have none. “We’re sorry. We were looking for someone with just a bit more experience.”
I know, I know…Being a teacher and working with paraprofessionals is sort of like administration, at least comparing the duties. I have that. I think I was good at it. I was also really good at behavior management, perfect for applying for an Assistant Principal job. But, here I am, hoping to sell my home in the next few months, moving to a new state and BAM! I won’t have the right credentials!

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

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