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The Long Story about the J-O-B Part One

May 27, 2013


It has been a busy month.  I have successfully finished teaching for this semester, and I have also finished my first two classes for the Post-Secondary Reading and Learning Certificate–only two more to go!

So many things have changed since Christmas.

At Christmas, I wasn’t sure I was going to apply for the Unlimited Full-Time teaching position that was being posted in my department.  I “knew” that I wouldn’t get the job anyway.  I was the newest member of the department.  I was competing with three other members of my department:  One was the department chair, who had taught at several different colleges prior to coming to my school; One had been working at Normandale for 21 years, who was very good friends with everyone in my department and was on every committee imaginable; And one who had worked at a different community college prior to my school, and who the (then) chair of the department recruited to come to our school.  All of these people had a lot more experience working with college aged (adult) learners, and they all seemed to understand the curriculum better than me, from my point of view.

I listened to my friends and applied anyway.  (Thank you friends!)  My rationale was that it was good experience.  I would be able to go through the process and the interview (I knew that I would at least get an interview, being someone who worked there) in order to learn what I needed to do when it counted, when I would actually be considered for the job.  I even told THE DEAN of my division that I knew I wouldn’t get this job, but I was going to apply “for the experience” on our workshop day before the semester began.  He told me to apply, and that even if I didn’t get it this time there would be opportunities in the future.

But, I can’t do things half way.  I knew that if I was going to apply, I had to jump in with both feet and make sure I tried my hardest to get the job.  Always with the backdrop in my head knowing that it was all for practice, I would never get this job.  That is why I took the two classes.  I didn’t want to have any question in my qualifications.  I needed 4 credits of Adult Education, and now I have them.  I made sure I had good references.  I did and re-did my resume and cover-letter.  Willow helped me revise my cover-letter, and I am forever indebted to her.  I worked hard on my application.

Once I had submitted everything, I tried to forget about the whole thing.  I was competing with my friends.  The Chair of our department is my good friend, the one that has been at my school for 21 years was my office mate, and lunch partner.  These are the people who I go out with after work, call when I am on the ledge and need to be talked down, and who I told about the classes I was taking.  They joined me in one of the classes, I think just to even the playing field.  I don’t think either one of them will take the next class.  This was unsettling because I really wasn’t taking them to be competitive, but I was glad to have people to talk to about my classes.  If I wasn’t competing with them for a job, I would have been over the moon to have company.  I chose to pretend that I wasn’t competing.

Both of these friends of mine deserved the job.  They are both extremely active on campus committees and have been teaching full-loads since they began.  I thought they were sure to get the two jobs that were posted.  I told them that.  I assured them that it wouldn’t be weird for me if they got the jobs, I was expecting them to get hired.  They never argued, it was my perception that they thought they were going to get hired too.

To Be Continued…


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