If you are reading this, you are probably ready to begin your career. You've done your coursework. You've put in your hours for your internships. You've built and perfected your resume, and it's ready to be used to find a great job in your field. No more working hours at that unwanted stepping stone--you're ready to find work in your career. But.... how do you find it?
As a GMS Alumni (Inductee class of '09), I studied hard and worked harder, and am now working full-time in my field of Special Education, including part-time work in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Finding a job wasn't as hard as you may think it to be and here's a small list of what can help find you a job in your field. This list is compiled not just from personal experience, but from conversations with other GMS Scholars (active and Alumni), and some of my friends in very different fields (from nursing, business, publishing, non-profit management, media and digital communications, and even to national security). Finding a job in any desired field takes not only experience and knowledge, but an innate dedication to success. Here are some tips to help you find that job to set your career in motion:
This is essentially the most important piece of the career-building puzzle. Software developer, Author, and GMS Alum, Stacey Fenton, recommends to "Get connected" with other professionals in your field. She recommends that an easy way to plug in is to find and join professional organizations related to your line of work (see below for some examples; a Google search can be infinitely helpful!).
- For higher education, think of organizations like NASPA, ACPA, or ASHE. Stacey is a part of all these organizations, including Girl Develop It, a software development organization.
- As a Special Educator, you definitely should look into joining the CEC, the Council for Exceptional Children.
- As an ABA provider, you would look into your state's Association for Behavior Analysis.
Dr. Lisa Brown, who received her doctorate in Higher Education, suggests that although there is "no perfect road map, you never know who you're sitting next to." Keep those business cards, questions, and warm smiles, at the ready! Being cordial with those you come into contact with will help "build respect.. and trust.. [which may be the unexpected] advantage for the future!"
She speaks the truth. By sharing my expertise and experiences on social media, reaching out and asking if anyone knew of any positions, an acquaintance from high school reached out to me with the opportunity to fill a Special Education position at a private school in my home city, not even a month after I graduated from my MA program! I also share job opportunities I hear of with friends who I know are looking. You really never know, so keep your expanding your network and maintain rapport with those you meet.