How many jobs have you applied for and been unsuccessful? At what stage were you unsuccessful, on application or at interview?
When faced with rejection it is inevitable that you will feel frustration and that can quickly turn into feeling like a failure! I know, I have felt it! But that is where we need to turn to the great words of Shakespeare, in particular his Julius Caesar play,
“The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
The interpretation is that it is not fate that dooms men, but instead their own failings. Now that sounds harsh that I’m blaming you for your inability to secure that job that you really wanted. But Shakespeare got it right!
If we really want to correct the fault in our stars then we need to address the underlying causes behind our shortcomings. Objectively, reviewing your own performance is not easy, especially when the bruises of a failed application are still so raw! Allowing for the dust to settle is too long to wait. You want to capture yourself in the moment. I’m not advocating storming up to the selection committee and giving them what for, but being your own critical friend and asking, “why did this not work out for me?” is the mindset to continuous improvement and success.
There may be many reasons as to why your application or interview was rejected, perhaps you are not mentally in the zone or physically ready for the challenge; trust me I know, I once went to an interview three days after having a knee operation. I hobbled into the room, explained away my crutches and then totally bombed on the interview. A* for effort and commitment to the cause, but totally ungraded for preparation and being mentally ready for the interview. I mean seriously how much preparation could I have done being drugged to the eyeballs on painkillers? In hindsight, (which is such a beautiful thing) I should have called, explained my circumstances, expressed my passion for the role and ask to be considered should they be unsuccessful in securing a candidate. At least that could have kept me in the frame in case the first round of interviews were unsuccessful, or if a future role was on the cards.
The key to all of this is to truly not beat yourself up! Instead, consider yourself as always the prospective candidate.
That way you’ll always be taking the steps to reflect upon your goals and what you need to do “daily” to achieve them. I say “daily” because without continuous tweaks and improvements over time, not only to your CV but to your own professional learning you are not positioning yourself as the number one candidate. As a Business Studies teacher I regularly teach Kaizen, the Japanese practice of continuous improvement.
Its core principal, change (kai) for the good (zen) can be applied to your own career development and when seeking new job roles. Kaizen suggests that everything can be improved, your research, pre-interview preparation, your CV, application form, cover letter, interview technique, observed lesson etc.
Don’t take my word as gospel; Ross Morrison McGill of Teacher Toolkit the leading blog for teachers in the UK has experienced adversity in the face of redundancy. Experiencing first-hand the challenges of the senior leadership application process, Ross shares his key takeaways on stepping up into senior leadership. On episode 36 of the Inspiration 4 Teachers Podcast Show, Ross offers his experience and advice to support you in your pursuit of Deputy Headship.
Press play and listen to our 3 Tip Challenge designed to provide you with Ross’s three essential tips when applying for roles in senior leadership:
If you enjoyed this article please tweet the knowledge forward and share it with your community!
INSPIRATION 4 TEACHERS
BRINGING YOU INTERVIEWS WITH INSPIRING PEOPLE WHO ARE CHANGING THE FACE OF EDUCATION!
Until next time ~ Keep inspiring!