career guidance much?
April 2, 2008 9:27 AM   Subscribe

I have been working steadily and consistently for the last three years but not at jobs that show growth or project development (which everyone seems to want to know about). How do I find a new (better) job now?

After graduating college and earning an elementary school teacher's certification I immediately moved out of state and was not eligible for a full teaching license in my new state. I worked as a substitute teacher for 3 years while my wife finished her doctorate. I was also employed as a Customer Service rep for a national co-operative (part time).
Now I'm moving back to my home state but am having serious reservations about entering full time teaching after becoming disillusioned about our education system.

1.What do I do with my life?
2.How to show on my resume that I am intelligent/ valuable given my limited (professional full-time) working experience especially at 28 years old.

A bit about me...
internet/information junkie
good people person
very tech oriented (my main hobbies including building computers and tweaking software, but I have no certifications or way to show my skills on paper)
experience working with children
emotionally stable /reliable
eager to learn and perform
available for long hours of hard work

We will be moving to the West Hollywood area from the upper mid-west.
Thanks for all of your help!

p.s. I did see these posts here and here but feel this is a bit different.
posted by project 2501 to Work & Money (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: About a year ago, I ended a 3-year contract being an IT admin for a K-12 school district, so I understand your frustration with the educational system being archaic and .... well, frankly "old skool".

1.) How do I find a better job?
My answer to this would be to look for the type of company you WANT to work for.. research each of them a little, and tailor your resume to "speak" to the needs they might have. If you think you dont have enough concrete professional world examples of projects you've succeeded at, then focus your interview attack strategy on how creative and driven you are, and what you'd like to accomplish for whomever might hire you. You may receive some answers of "you're not what we're looking for".. but dont give up. (the types of companies who reject you probably arent the type of company you want to work for anyways).

2.) What do I do with my life?
Have we heard this question on Mefi before?... :P This is a really tough one to answer because few (if any) of us know you personally. You seem to have listed a set of skills that I identify with, so my advice would be to keep pursuing creative ideas or outlets (even if that means doing them as hobbies) and eventually you'll amass quite a dazzling array of unique skills that will show off your creative/tech/problem solving/resourcefulness. At some point during interviews (#1 above) they'll ask what you do in your spare time (or some question like that) and if you throw out some long winded passionate answer, they will atleast see the spark in your eyes and that will impress them. Find ways to show them unique solutions you've come up with, especially if its for some everyday mundane problem.

3.) Without experience, how do I show that i'm intelligent on my resume?
I think I've already given some hints in my above questions. Mentally go back through your job history (or hobbies) and make a mental list of all the little successes/ideas/breakthroughs you've had... Look for the topics or solutions that you are most passionate about and find ways to include those in your resume.

I'm coming up on my 1yr anniversary at my current job. Its primarily a Unix system management position which I was unqualified for (my background is all Windows Sysadmin) but the company hired me anyway. About 2 weeks after being hired I got up the guts to ask the CEO exactly WHY they hired me. His answer: "The interviewing panel really couldnt cite anything specific, but they all felt you had the personality, passion and work ethic that matched our companies culture." Basically they saw a base foundation they liked, and knew they could teach me whatever Unix stuff I was missing.

I'd love to be a teacher, but after 3 years in K-12... I was WAY burned out on to much work and to much political redtape. For practical advice, maybe you could combine your teaching and tech skills and find some way to volunteer locally. It may not pay, but it always looks good on the resume, and (short term) might help you make some contacts with people looking to hire good hearted smart techy individuals.

Good Luck!
posted by jmnugent at 9:49 AM on April 2, 2008

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