PMP232: Looking for a New Education Position

Winter is a time of year for frigid temperatures across much of the U.S. It is also a time of year when principals look ahead.

Photo by mostafa meraji – Creative Commons No known copyright restrictions

Many education leaders may also be considering new positions as they think about the final semester and plan for next school year. This week, Jen Schwanke, Principal of Indian Run Elementary in Dublin, Ohio, joins me again as we talk about important ideas to keep in mind if you are considering that next step in your own education career. Here are some questions we discuss:

  • How are you adding value in your position, and what value could you bring to a new one?
  • How do you not take it personally when a school or district is not looking for the particular value you bring?
  • How do you keep in perspective when you really want a position but don’t get the offer? (Will and Jen both share vulnerable moments when they did not receive offers or opportunities they really wanted.)

Tips for Your Own Search

Listen to the entire episode for more conversations about the following:

  • Understanding how adding value is the most important part of job seeking
  • Letting your resume reflect your value
  • Knowing if you found a good fit
  • Thinking about your digital environment when interviewing virtually
  • Not pursuing something that isn’t right for you
  • Accepting if the interview doesn’t feel right, the job won’t feel right
  • Considering the reasons WHY you’re looking for a new position 
  • Understanding if you DON’T get the offer, it’s not personal
  • Leaving others with ways they can make their school better – with or without you

Let’s Wrap This Up

Jen wraps up this conversation with a story about a friend of hers who realized why it is important it is to ‘be yourself’ and to accept ‘who you are’ even when you’re not chosen over someone else. Listen to the entire episode for more takeaways and stories!

You can check out previous Principal Matters episodes on tips for interviewing for education positions or questions principals may face in interviews at the following links:

10 Tips for Seeking Education Openings

30 Questions for Principal Interviews

Now It’s Your Turn

Whether or not you’re offered a position, ask yourself: What value can I provide in an interview or interaction with a prospective opportunity? At the end of the day, if you can keep that your focus, then the goal is no longer about you, it’s about helping others – which is what others need most from your leadership.

Book Recommendation

If you want a deep dive into your own gifts and how they match best with the work you love, I recommend a book that helped me in that journey: 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. 

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker