Look, I’ve made all the mistakes. I’ve fallen for a contract job over a direct hire in a school (but it was great!). I’ve worked in the “bad” districts and enjoyed my job and, on the flip side, I’ve worked at the “good” district and hated it. Life is crazy — it’s so hard to figure out the right fit for you!
I brainstormed some shortcuts so you can navigate everything so much better than I did:
1. Take advantage of your school’s career center (even as an alumni years later)
The jobs center on campus is a speech path’s best friend. They review resumes and cover letters and give you advice about how to modify them, they will let you do mock interviews, and they even do some career counseling. Getting feedback on resumes and cover letters is critical for you to get the job you need to be successful. Mock interviews will help you feel confident during the real thing. You may already know what you want, but sometimes it’s nice to talk more about what you need out of a workplace to be your best. Also, these services are usually available to alumni as well!
2. Talk to your supervisors in the grad clinic and from your outside placements
Who knows your therapy style better but than the people who have been working with you and observing you for all these years? Ask them about the jobs, the clinics, and the school districts where graduates are the most successful — and the ones that should be avoided. Don’t forget to ask them for recommendation letters. In fact, your career center may offer a service in which they store the letters for five years and mail them out at your request.
3. Put it out there on social media channels
If you are job hunting, let your social networks know about it. Update your LinkedIn network, post a status on Facebook, put it out there on Instagram. It feels vulnerable to “advertise” like that, but you never know who in your social network may know of the best job for you. Here’s a sample of what you might want to say, “Hey friends, I just wanted to share with you that I’m looking for a speech job working with kids in either a school district or private clinic in the Evanston-area. I’d love it if you could pass this information on to people you might know. If you have a job tip for me, please private message me. Thanks so much!!”
I’m confident that you will find the perfect job for you — and if you don’t the first time around, keep trying! You don’t have to stay in the same job forever. It’s okay to make a change.
I hope that you enjoy my job series — actually, I should share that I just resigned from my full time job and this coming fall I will be working part-time so I can be more available for my family. It’s important to make sure your job fits who you are in your life (and where you are — I’ve got a young family so this change makes a lot of sense). That’s the great thing about being a speech path — there’s always something new to do in our field and the flexibility is convenient too! Good luck (and thank you for your support)!!