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    Attitude is everything
    By Another job seeker

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    I have been following your posts and I can empathize with your feelings because I have been in your shoes. I was only hired on Friday after being an active job seeker for two years. Yes, it is very difficult to send out packet after packet to district after district, to wait to be called for an interview and, if you actually get one, to be told the job is going to someone else. In my case, I was told on three separate occasions that the decision came down to me and one other person and they chose the other person because... I also hate having to tell friends and family that I still don't have a job and see the look in their eyes that you perceive to be either pity or wondering what is wrong with you that you aren't hired.

    That being said, I am going to tell you something that may not be exactly what you want to hear but that you definitely need to hear. The tone of your posts has been so negative that, at this point in time, you may be your own worst enemy. In job-hunting as with most everything else in life, attitude is the key to success. In other words, you have to fake it until you make it. The more you wallow in self-pity, the less likely you are to get a teaching, or any other kind of, job. Whether you think so or not, your negative attitude is permeating and poisoning everything that you do. While I realize that this board is meant to be a safe place to vent your feelings and frustrations, I sense that this may not be the only place that you display your discouragement.

    In an earlier post you said that you have had 14 interviews. That's a pretty amazing number. There must be something that you are presenting on paper that attracts the ones in a position to hire. I suspect that, once you get to the interview, you shoot yourself in the foot by projecting the negativity in your body language even if you don't actually say anything negative. Let's face it, no hiring panel in its right mind is going to extend a job offer to a candidate who cannot muster enthusiasm and positive vibes. Not if they have the best interests of the students in mind.

    As I stated earlier, I have been in you shoes this past year. I face some additional challenges by being an older, second-career teacher. I have experienced fairly deep depression over being unemployed at a job I so desperately want. I have questioned myself over and over about what I could do to change things. In other weords, I've had to do a lot of soul-searching. I don't know if you are a religious person, and I mean no offense if you are not, but the one thing that got me through the darkest hours was the power of prayer. When I reached my lowest point, last year on the first day of school when I had to accept that I was not going to be in a classroom, I decided that I was not going to be a victim. I put myself in God's hands and asked him to guide my path. I told myself and Him that I would follow wherever He led me, even if I couldn't understand where I was going. I let go of my anger, sadness, bitterness, and negativity and accepted that things have a reason for working out the way they do. I did not give up, I simply let go and let God. I learned a lot about humility in the past year and, in the process, regained confidence in my goal to be a teacher. I pulled out all the stops in getting my act together to present to interviewers the very best portrait, on paper and in person, of why I would be an asset to their district. If I was turned down, I took the bull by the horns and called back to ask what was the deciding factor and if I might be considered if another position were to come up in the district.

    The point of this whole message is YOU are in control of your destiny. You can choose to be consumed by the pity party you are throwing for yourself or you can turn a lot of that negative energy you are expending into a thorough soul-searching and determination of what you can do to help yourself. IF YOU THINK YOU ARE A LOSER, YOU HAVE CREATED THAT FOR YOURSELF!!!! You can choose to be a victim or you can get off your duff and climb out of the hole you have dug for yourself. Maybe, in some perverse way, you like the negative attention that you are generating for yourself. Let me assure you, however, that as long as you continue to think about your situation in the way that you are, you will never be hired.

    I wish you the best in your search. Facing hard truths about ourselves is never an easy process, but in the long run, it makes us more human.

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