Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I need to find a new job. And it needs to be in the state university
system where employees get tuition discounts for family. My son is
turning 18 and graduating this June. We thought he was going to take
a gap year, but he decided on school. I support his decision
emotionally and intellectually, but can’t afford it financially. I’m an
underpaid bilingual PhD in education, work in a local school district (on
a grant I wrote/won), plus volunteer in a peer-review education
network. How can I exploit my connections?
Need A Network
Dear Need A Network:
You’re already halfway there: you have a relevant network. You need
to exploit it in a way that turns people on, not off. The advice below,
btw, is true for anyone looking for any job, specifics notwithstanding.
Send emails to everyone in the network of folks who are in/work
with/might have connections with or at/or who are in a position to get
information about the colleges. The idea is to be your own Johnny
Appleseed: scatter your request as broadly as possible and ask the
recipients to do the same. It is important, btw, to send these requests
as individual emails, not a group mailing. Two reasons: People don’t
like being spammed; it discounts the level of their responsiveness.
Also, if there are too many recipients, you could easily be shunted to a
spam folder and your email may never be read.
The email should have structure/content similar to below:
[Para 1] I hope this email finds you well. [Para 2] I’m asking for your
networking to help me find a college position. As you probably know,
I’ve been working in the _______ schools. Now I want to work in the
university system. My goal is to [insert your pitch]. As a bilingual Ph.D
and successful grant writer I bring a depth of understanding and
experiences to the table. [Para3] My ideal position would be
________. I’d accept .5-1.0 FTE, doing any or all of: ___, ____,
_____, or _____. I’d greatly appreciate any leads or connections you
can share. Please send me any job postings or opportunities that come
across your radar, now and through summer. I’ve included my vita;
feel free to forward this email to others who might be hiring or have a
relevant network. [Para 4] Please contact me if you have any
suggestions, want additional information, or have time to brainstorm. I
deeply appreciate your support. Thanks in advance.
Most importantly before sending the email: Send a test copy to
yourself to catch any wierdnesses in font or formatting. Read it aloud
to catch bad syntax. Spellcheck your text and the spelling of
everyone’s name. Send thank you’s immediately to any respondents.
Repeat in six weeks if nothing happens.