Job Searching: Early Steps

by Stefanie Lucas-Waverly

I am a firm believer everyone’s job search timeline and experience is going to be different. For some folks you might be already thinking a ton about your job search and for others this might be way too early and you are not interested in reading this post. Job searching can be overwhelming, and over the next few months I will share some thoughts on the process in hopes of making it more manageable for folks.

I get a good amount of questions about my personal job search both inside student affairs and my previous position. My first student affairs job search was national and broad, and my second was regional and specific to the Twin Cities. Both have their unique challenges, and my partner was a consideration.

Job searching can be extremely overwhelming, especially when you have constraints on your search. Here are three tips to consider early on in your job search:

1.      Make a list of your priorities and non-negotiable for your job search. Things to think about:
a.       What region of the country or world do you want to live in and where are you willing to live?
b.      What type of position do you want and what type of position are you willing to take? (Be honest with yourself on this one.)
c.       What type of campus do you want to work at and what type of campus are you willing to work?
d.      Who else do I need to consider in my job search? A partner, children, and family should be the top of this list. Things to consider with a partner:
                                                               i.      Is my partner open to moving?
                                                             ii.      Does your partner want to live on campus or continue living on campus?

Tip: The above might change throughout your search process. Also, for some of these questions you might not have the word “willing” because you have are very specific with your needs. Make sure to take note of this as you create your list.

2.      Talk to the folks who matter the most with your job search, especially your family and partner. Review your list when you are ready and willing to share with your partner and or family, mentor, and advisor. They can help hold you accountable later on in the process.

3.      What type of search are you considering? Will you go to The Placement Exchange, TPE, ( Do you have enough money to go to TPE or how do you plan to finance TPE or another student affairs job placement service? What websites are available to search for jobs, examples include and Twitter is also a great location, and one way to find postings is by searching #sachat.

For some of you November is a great month to start considering the above. Whenever the right time is for you to start thinking about your job search, make sure you take some personal time to reflect on your needs and wants in a job search.

Please know I am here is a resource if you have any initial job search questions! Tweet me at @Stefanie_Lucas

Student Affairs - the First Years

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