My wife, Kaye, is an awesome teacher. And I am not just saying that because she is my wife (objective evidence: she was “teacher of the year” when we lived in Cincinnati). She is super-encouraging, creative, and passionate about helping children learn and become who they were created to be. When we started having our own kids, she took time off from teaching to stay home with our girls. But now that our kids are in school all day, she wanted to teach again.
But she only wanted to teach at our kid’s school, and there were zero openings. So how do you get a job at the one place you want to work even if there are no openings? Here are three lessons from my wife.
1. Be present
Kaye loves the school our kids attend. We love the teachers, the administrators, and the parents. It is our community and we love the people. So Kaye started volunteering several days in the office. She spent two years volunteering before applying for a role.
People will sometimes ask me how to get on staff at a particular church. My best advice: move there and volunteer. Because the church is growing and parts are constantly moving in a growing church, if you volunteer faithfully and you are a good fit for that culture, a role will come available in time. Be present. Put yourself in the minds of those who make the hire.
2. Be prepared
Kaye spent months being sure her teaching certificates were up-to-date, all her records were on file with the county, and imagining how she would make the move back to work.
If you sense God has called you to preach, prepare sermons now even before you know where you will preach. If you want to lead, start leading something now. If you want to enter a particular field or engage in a certain discipline, read and study now. Don’t wait for the job to prepare for the job.
3. Be persistent
After volunteering for two years and preparing for the job, Kaye (as she can with her personality) got a bit persistent. Example: She placed a dozen or so copies of her resume, on different colored paper, in the resume drop-box at the school.
When you are present and prepared, you have earned the right to be persistent. Obviously there is appropriate persistence that must be consistent with your personality and sensitive to the personalities of those involved.
Kaye got a call two weeks before school started that a role had opened up in 3rd grade. She interviewed a few days later and was hired. I am super-proud of her, proud to be “Kaye’s husband.”
If you want to be hired, be present, prepared, and persistent.