Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Glenford Smith | Go where the job is

Published:Monday | August 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: A pleasant day to you. I am a teacher who is trying desperately to land a permanent teaching post. However, sadly, I have only worked in several temporary post up to date. Although grateful for the experiences garnered over the years, I believe at this point I should be settled professionally. Over the years, I have worked in approximately eight secondary institutions and it is really frustrating to be constantly job hunting. I am despondent. what is your advice?

- M.F.

CAREERS: Thank you for your letter. It had to be shortened due to its length. This situation must cause you great emotional frustration as the various short-term employment can make it seem like you're not a good worker. Don't take your experiences to mean that, however.

From your rÈsumÈ, I gather that you are an English language and literature teacher. The fact that the schools called you back, successively, should be looked at as a positive experience.

They recognise your work as being above average. Otherwise, your candidacy would have been rejected. You have described yourself as despondent, meaning that you're allowing the situation to get to you. Maybe you're making the current frustration influence or colour your interpretation of the situation.

I will have more to say on maintaining a positive mindset. In the meantime, choose one of the schools that you've worked for and offer to volunteer there. If you're doing nothing and sitting home, that makes you susceptible to depression and frustration.

You should have as a condition of your volunteer work at the school that you are given preference if a teacher is demitting a post. Many teachers have found a permanent post using just this method.

You know the saying, 'If the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain'? Well, sometimes you have to go where the job is. From looking at your rÈsumÈ, you seem to have worked mostly in the Corporate Area.

You may have to spread your net wider than that. There may be opportunities in the high schools in rural areas.

In your letter, you told of a recent incident where you went on an interview to a particular high school. The interviewer asked: "Why are you not employed if you have worked at all these schools? Could they not create a post for you?"

Although you expected the question, it stumped you and you said you became even more depressed. How can you respond to such a question to put you in a favourable light? Just tell them the school's teacher returned. Don't be ashamed of anything just say it like it is.

You wondered if this was this a sign that you have to change your passion and find another career. No. This doesn't mean that you should do this. It's just how things are going at the moment. Things will change.

How can you move forward professionally when you are hardly getting any interviews or callbacks? I had said I would say something to address your mindset.

You cannot let the situation get to you. You have to believe this even when things do not look favourable. Get a book like The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Peale. Listen to similar books on YouTube, and keep on going. Your day will come.

- Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.