Finding the Perfect Job For You

May 4, 2018 No Comments

Finding the Perfect Job For You

May 4, 2018 No Comments

I went on a job interview last month and, while I was super excited about the prospect, as soon as the interview began, I realized it wasn’t the job for me.

At first, I was super disappointed.  I thought that, even in the rare case that I was offered the job, I’d have to accept it.  Why should I turn down a perfectly good leadership position?  Then I remembered: because it’s not the job for me.

It’s hard being patient when you want something so badly.  But I’m here to tell you that you need to wait.  Over my teaching career, I’ve taught in two different schools, with four different principals, two different grade levels, and four different teams.  And while I absolutely love teaching and working with students, that’s not always enough.  Not every school, not every grade level, and not every team is the right fit for you.

Even if you’re not in education and you came across this post by accident, you should remember that not every business is run the same way.  Not every boss has a personality or philosophy that matches yours.  Not every job is for you.

Please realize that this doesn’t mean that those people are bad or that they’re doing anything wrong.  They’re not.  People, by nature, are different.  It’s a fact of life and, for the most part, diversity is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

But when beliefs and philosophies clash in the workplace, when two parties are working towards two different causes… it can be disastrous.  Not only for the effectiveness of the organization but for the well-being of the people involved.  In this case, it’s okay to “not for me” or “not right now.”  You have to know yourself well in order to find the perfect job for you.

In this post, I’d like to share four ways to know from an interview if the job is not for you.  Hopefully, this will help you from accepting a job where you’ll be miserable and find something that fits with your purpose or personal mission in life.

1.  Be very clear about what you believe about education (or whatever field you’re interviewing in) and share that during the interview.

In education, what you believe about how students learn is vitally important to how you’re going to do your job.  Your philosophy of education isn’t just something you’re supposed to think about during your undergraduate or graduate education program, but rather should permeate every part of how you interact with students and colleagues.

Even if your interviewer doesn’t come right out and ask, be prepared to find ways to share your philosophy.  It’s probable that they’ll pose a question like, “Tell us a little about yourself and why you think you’re a good fit for this position.”  The people who are interviewing you need to know what you believe, not just about education, but about the world in general so they don’t hire you for a job that’s in contrast to your belief system.  This will save you a multitude of headaches down the road.

2. Pay attention to the body language of those who interview you.

You can gauge the personality of the people who are interviewing you by paying attention to their body language before, during, and after the interview.  You can learn a lot about people by how they act.  For example, if you walk into an interview and smile at someone with zero smiles back, that should be a red flag.  Interviewers who are distracted by a phone or computer, fail to make eye contact during the interview, make you wait long periods of time without reason, or cut you off mid-sentence are also reasons to reconsider accepting a job.  Also, pay attention to whether or not they seem disorganized or flustered.  You can tell the first time you meet someone if they are kind, respectful, and responsible people.  Think about who you’d like to work for and consider that before you accept any job.

Photo by on Unsplash

3. Ask questions before, during, and after the interview.  

Interviews can be very intimidating, especially if you’re a new teacher.   When you arrive for an interview, be polite and engage the office staff in conversation.  Ask them if they enjoy the school and the area.  If you’re not Interviewing at a school, ask them if they enjoy the company.  Be careful not ask about the interviewers or the position you’re interviewing for specifically.  You don’t want to seem like you’re fishing for information, only engaging in small talk.

Just like paying attention to body language, you can get more information about the vision and mission of the school or company and the position you would be filling by asking questions.  You will usually be given the opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have at the end of the interview.  Take that opportunity to find out more about the school or company.  Some questions you might ask are:

  • What role do you see this position playing within the school?
  • What are some expectations for this position?
  • What do you believe are the next steps for the school or company in fulfilling your vision and mission?
  • What qualities are you looking for?
4. If you are offered the job, follow up with a visit and more questions.
Let’s say you are offered a job, but the interview left you with something to be desired.  You might ask if you could visit for a couple of hours to see how things are done or ask some more questions that came to you after the interview.  If they are willing to answer your questions or accommodate your visit, it’s clear that they really want you to be a part of their community.  If not, maybe that’s a sign that you should keep looking elsewhere.
In one of his videos on YouTube, Principal Kafale made the point that you need to be interviewing the interviewers as much as they interview you, just to make sure that this is the job you want.  You want to find the perfect job for you, not just any job.  
If you don’t jive with the personality of a school, community, or person, don’t be afraid to turn down a job offer if you get it.  I know that it can be difficult to wait for the job for you, especially if the job market is scarce, but it is not fun to work with people whose personalities clash with yours.  It’s worth waiting if you can.
I hope these strategies will help you in finding the perfect job.  It can definitely be discouraging to go on interview after interview with no luck, but it’s even worse trying to drag yourself out of bed every day for a job you don’t love.  Take it from someone who’s been there.
Good luck job hunting!  Please share this post with someone you know who may be struggling to find the perfect job.  I’d also love to hear your job hunting success or failure stories.  Be sure to tag @TeacherLadyKY on Twitter or comment below.


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About Me

About Me

Hi! My name is Sheryl and I am so thankful you've found your way to the TeacherLadyKY blog! I'm an elementary educator from Louisville, Kentucky who is passionate about building relationships and literacy skills with my students. I've taught everything from kindergarten to fifth grade and I can't wait to share my experiences with you! Enjoy! Read More


  • Let’s try this again.... since the first one I posted had a spelling error on the letter board 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️
I’ve kind of been all over the place for the last eight years, but I’m excited to start year 9 in fourth grade! I’m pumped to be on a BOMB team (we need team nickname, @trish_cummane), learning a new curriculum, and becoming the best teacher YET!
Is it too early to start planning for next year when there are still 12 days left in this school year? 🤓
#teacher #teacherlife #teachersofinstagram #iteachtoo #iteachfourth #iteachfourthgrade #iteachfourthgraders #fourthgrade #teachersfollowteachers #teachersonsummerbreak
  • Here are some onesies I made for my sweet niece. She’s going to rock that HP one!
#cricut #cricutmade #baby #babyfever #babyfashion #babyfashionista #babygirl #babystyle #infantstyle #infantfashion #harrypotter #hpstyle #harrypotterstyle #unicorn #wildchild #cricutcrafting #cricutfashion #cricutstyle
  • I love my job. 
#teacherlife #teachersofinstagram #iteachfifth #iteachtoo
  • Today is a special, special day where I get to celebrate all the people that I love most. 
First, Happy Mother’s Day to my own mother, who taught me that I could do anything I wanted as long as I put my mind to it. She has always had the attitude that there’s no problem that can’t be fixed and she is the always the first one asking how she can help. 
Second, Happy Mother’s Day toy beautiful sister who is a learning and growing and doing a fantastic job at one of the hardest roles in the world. I love watching her be a mom, because she’s so good at it. She is patient and thoughtful, fun and understanding.

And finally, Happy 60th Birthday to my dad, who is the best dad and the best Pa I’ve ever seen. He, like Mom, has always taught me to find a solution and stop worrying about the problem. He’s always there for having fun, even if it means letting your daughters paint your nails or playing dinosaurs with a two year for the thousandth time.  I love you all and I’m so lucky I get to call you mine! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • I had an amazing day graduating and  spending time with my family. I am so proud of how far I’ve come in accomplishing my goals and it makes me feel better about how far I’ve still left to go.
Still, when all was said and done, I came home to face my next obstacle and became immediately anxious and overwhelmed.  I hit a mental block and I stayed there for a while.
I CAN do hard things. I have done them before. I went through college three times. I bought a house, by myself, at 22 years old.  Together, Justin and I have scrounged and saved and paid off thousands in debt.  I CAN do whatever I put my mind to, just like Mom and Dad told me, way back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I can accomplish amazing things, I just have to believe in myself.
I wrote in my #starttodayjournal this morning when I woke up, but I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed, so I did it for a second time just now, before I fall asleep. I love how calm, focused, positive it keeps my mind. I can’t wait to write it in again tomorrow.
#starttodayjournal #thegsaclub #starttoday @msrachelhollis @mrdavehollis #rachelhollis #girlstopapologizing #girlwashyourface #gratitude #dailygratitude #dreams #dreamer
  • Sisters night out. We needed this times 1000.
  • Hi, please excuse my while I go cry my eyes out. 😭😭😭😭😭
  • I switched schools three years ago - the summer before I got married.  It was a tough move because I LOVED my students and I felt guilty leaving them, but I knew I needed to make the move. My friend who teaches fifth grade at my previous school had her students write a letter to a former teacher. Two of her students chose me to write to - and then she shared their notes with me.
Yes, these made me cry. NEVER take for granted the impact you have on others and the power of compassion, empathy, and kindness. It has been three years since these students sat in my second grade classroom. Three years since I’ve seen them, but our connection is so strong it seems like just yesterday.
  • This isn’t the best picture BUT I had to show you a shirt I made this week. Every Friday, as my students walk out the door before the weekend, I say to them: “Goodbye. I love you. Have a good weekend!” For some of my students, it’s just words. For some of my students, it’s THE words that helps them get through 2 or 3 days of chaos before coming back to the “calm” that is our classroom. In fact, when I wore it yesterday (we’re off school today), one of kids read it, his eyes popped open wide and he said, “But... but.... that’s what you say to us! Where’d you get that?!?” The joy on his face was priceless. Now, I have a Friday T-shirt that will remind them all day.
I have never one regretted saying I love you to my students because I DO. In every sense of the word, I love them with my whole self and would do anything for them.
#teachersofinstagram #teacherlife #friday #ootd #fridayfashion #aplfonts #cricutmade #cricut

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The TeacherLadyKY blog header and logo were designed by Sheryl, using fonts from A Primary Kind of Life and Brittney Murphy Design.  Clip art is courtesy of Irina Bandyk, whose Etsy shop is WatercolorCliparts.  The blog theme used is Emilia by Georgia Lou Studios.