Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m a single mom of a high school senior. I just got back from my grad
school reunion and connected with lots of folks whose careers are
much more interesting and influential than mine. Also with my sense
of “exile” from the state in which I was born, raised, and did all my
schooling. We moved away for my ex’s job and stayed out of inertia
and because I had a decent-paying teaching job. But now I’m ready
for change and even my son wants to move back. But I feel very far
away in time and space from the future I want to create. When is too
soon to start looking, given my son’s senior year?
Dear Ready Now:
Ready now? Start now! First of all, subscribe to every online job-
posting list in your field. Ditto to the local newspapers in any town in
which you’d want to live. Network with all your alum friends. Also
introduce yourself to the Human Resources managers in any school
district or institution of higher learning where you might be qualified to
teach, or even hold an administrative job. Research all the private
schools in the area. Those steps should give you access to current and
future jobs. And re-write your resume, with particular emphasis on
your local roots. Consider getting an extra cell with the local area
code, the where you pay only for minutes used. It’s small but might
get you a call where being a perceived out-of- towner might not.
Apply for any job that appears in which you’d sincerely be interested.
But apply only for jobs you’d really want if you had to start tomorrow.
You’re a long time from needing to relocate. But it’s a great time to
explore and get folks to see who you are. Let your resume introduce
you to them. Your biggest problem would be an actual offer for a
position for which you could not negotiate a temporary deferment or a
substantial amount of telecommuting. If you had that dilemma of
riches, you and your son would need to have a very serous family
conference. Either he’d agree to relocate with you and disrupt his
senior year. Or you’d agree to a temporary separation, assuming there’s a relative or close family friend with whom he could live for the
duration of high school. Think long run, take this on as a year-long
project, and trust the timing to work itself out.