Sunday, February 8, 2009

no job

There: I ripped the Band Aid off.

Justin walked into this job fair with high hopes and I, pessimist parading as realist, walked into this job fair desperate to catch his optimism. It was a tough year for many international teachers at this and, we learned, other fairs. And since misery loves company, I guess it makes me feel better to know that in this "buyer's market," as one recruiter called the hiring this year, we weren't the only house with a shabby lawn and leaky roof.

We landed three interviews which was three more than some. I feel fortunate for that. On Friday we attended the interview sign up sessions and talked with other teachers - with and without international experience - who were having a difficult time just getting schools to meet with them. We knew that my desire to work part-time could make finding a match challenging so we focused on schools that stated they'll hire a teacher with a "non-teaching spouse." So I approached schools offering my flexibility as an asset - look: I can sub, tutor, work with extracurriculars, or volunteer! Order now and I'll throw in a set of steak knives for free! But we also understood the schools' perspective. I cost the same visa, airfare, health insurance, and housing as a full-time teacher.

Friday afternoon we interviewed with two schools, one in Abu Dhabi and the other in Boston. Both were great. Neither administrator looked at my desire to spend more time with Claire as a loss for their school. Indeed, the Boston school frequently has part-time openings because it is still growing and classes shift to meet student needs and population.

Still, this experience was much different than UNI two years ago. There we spent Friday afternoon interviewing and went to bed with one or two offers tucked away. By midafternoon on Saturday we had completed second interviews and had five offers. This time, by midmorning Saturday we knew that our lack of IB experience cost us a second interview and possible job offer from Abu Dhabi. We'll follow up with the Boston school in March or April when they know their openings. We decided to cancel or third interview. Justin and I knew that we weren't really interested in moving to Cairo. Instead, we wandered Cambridge with my mom and sister. And enjoyed it.

Yesterday I asked Justin if he felt stressed or if he just felt like he should feel stressed. More the second. Things like this happen and we think we should panic and worry and yell about the sky falling on our heads. Our plan: continue contacting schools we're interested in and pursuing interviews. If we're still looking by mid-May, we'll attend another Search fair in June. My parents' basement isn't at the top of the list yet.

I did cry. We spent a considerable amount of time, money, and energy preparing for and attending this fair. And we are still looking for a job. That's disappointing. But we are calm. Better to still be looking for a job than signing a contract with a rock in our stomachs.

We really are okay.

4 comments:

Joie said...

Thanks for posting this news. Glad you had time with Mom and Jo- certainly worthwhile in that way, and we'll pray that God will keep showing you where He wants you next year and that He will open the doors for you to go there. We love you guys.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I asked Justin if he felt stressed or if he just felt like he should feel stressed. More the second. Things like this happen and we think we should panic and worry and yell about the sky falling on our heads.

Smart fellow, that son-in-law.

Love to all,
Dad

Sergio en Colombia said...

thanks for updating, sarah. come back to cali and we can commiserate and have a job hunting party. with banana bread. lots and lots of banana bread.

The Salty One said...

You make my little career dilemma seem so wee! Thanks so much for the tummy advice. I will give it a try tonight and see how it goes. He may very well be uncomfy because he often flails around for a few minutes when I lay him down at first. I'll let you know how it goes!

I wish you all the best in your job hunt!!!!