I have not always needed support with guidance in my career. Decisions in becoming a teacher follow a predictable pattern: You decide in 4th grade, check back in with yourself first semester of 12th grade, and then select a college known for education. Isn’t that the same for everyone? Well, your journey may have enjoyed had more twists and turns than mine, however usually by the time we feel successful in a classroom we settle in for the next 2-3 decades.

Except when that doesn’t happen.

Decisions in becoming a teacher follow a predictable pattern

… except when that doesn’t happen.

I have taught in a few states and while that gives me a nice perspective on teaching it has also provided me with a few opportunities to prove myself, again. It also gave me a confidence (a little irrational confidence in hindsight) to apply for a job which my district offered funded (for only two years) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I just knew at best this could be a great opportunity to step into something fun, meaningful, and challenging – and at worst I would just have to get another teaching job. Which I had already done four times at that point. So, you can see why I was tempted?


So when my Atlanta chapter of EdTechWomen offered a meeting devoted to mentoring each other I was excited by the possibilities. One of the breakout sessions was Leadership. I did not plan to join that group before hearing the women who would be sharing that day:, and  and something told me, based on my opinion of these ladies, I should listen to what they have to say. The group included four of us with jobs which did not even exist 5 or so years ago; I realized we just need to prepare for the unknown position we will surely run across very soon.

Some of the really good advice which spoke to me:

  • Find your passion and focus in on that, articulate it on your resume – your streamlined resume – I heard make it clear and easy for that next person with a great job to say yes to you.
  • It might not happen “here,” you might have to go somewhere else. And no one likes to hear that, but you can recast yourself because undoubtedly you have changed since you started at your current job.
  • I also came away with the feeling not to rush or push, but to prepare myself and participate in the community to advertise myself.

But if that isn’t your current reality of “prepare and wait” I have a tool you might want to consider:  Firefox Plugin Distill’s AlertBox. This goes beyond signing up for email alerts to Human Resource pages and allows you to watch elements of any web page and receive alerts in your preferred mode of contact. When your future employer tweets you, thank me then.

Thank you to the mentors out there, right in front of our faces, and with wisdom if we will just ask for it.