Friday, 22 July 2011

The Secret To My Dream Job

The past year has been a challenge in more ways than one.
The course has been difficult, life has been difficult and finding a job even more difficult.
I have to be honest and admit that by January I realised I didn't want to teach English in schools.
But I kept plodding on.
I felt I owed it to my family who had supported me throughout the course to apply for jobs.
I have never struggled to get a job before.
I have walked into almost every job I have ever gone after.
I was shocked to find my letters of application ignored.
I thought my past life and work must count for something.
Yet deep down.
If I am totally honest - I don't think I was a great secondary school teacher.
By March I had begun my second school placement and it was tough.
Don't get me wrong; the school was brilliant.
I just didn't feel up to the job.
My confidence dipped.
For the first time in my life I felt old and washed up.
Then I was clearing my desk and I found a necklace I had won on Boutique Girl's blog.
It was a Make A Wish necklace.
I had been saving it for a time when I really needed a wish to come true.
Now was the time.
I opened the box and there was a tiny silver angel with some pink thread which clasped around the neck.
I decided to give it a try.
What did I have to lose?
I put the necklace on and made a wish to find the perfect job for me.
I began to settle into the school.
I loved being a tutor and I loved teaching PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education).
My class of 13-14-year-olds enjoyed their lessons but said they wanted to do more feel-good lessons as they'd had enough of sex and drugs and runaways!
I introduced a Happiness Project and challenged each pupil to create their own Happiness Project for the last lesson of my placement.
The lesson was the best ever with collages, videos, letters, playlists and random acts of kindness collated.
Meanwhile, I ploughed on with the job applications and started to get a few interviews.
In May I had two interviews for teaching jobs in two weeks and was devastated when I was not offered a job.
Then I was called for an interview as a Progress Coach at a sixth form college.
This was a new role at the college and there would be nine coaches starting the term in September.
Over 70 people had applied for the jobs including teachers, lecturers, career tutors, librarians and many more.
It was the only non-teaching job I had applied for but I loved the look of it.
I would be a personal tutor, mentor and teach life skills.
The application included a task to find out how I would deal with challenging situations facing a couple of imaginary students.
A month after applying for the job I was asked back for another test.
I had to write a University reference for a student.
A week later I was called back to the final stage.
I had to give a presentation on Life After College for Year 12 students (aged 16-17); lead a discussion between sixth formers; calm an irate student down in a role-play situation and finally, the panel interview.
I was told I would have to wait until the following week to hear if I had the job as they were still interviewing.
That final stage almost wiped me out but when I returned home that night I was enjoying a glass of wine when I felt my neck and the charm had gone.
The string had snapped on my Make A Wish bracelet which was the sign that my wish would be granted.
Two days later I got a phone call to say I had been selected for the job.
I am so grateful for the gift and in absolutely no doubt that the necklace from Boutique Girl granted my wish.


  1. After reading the entire post (not much at the beginning) -
    I am so excited for you !
    You must feel very blessed, you competed with 70 people ? It was almost like a Survivor reality show -

  2. What an amazing story. I'm so excited for you. It sounds like the perfect fit, you will like what you are doing and the kids will love you I'm sure.

    Congrats on graduating. So glad you stopped by my blog, I didn't know you were posting again.


  3. Lovely story but in my heart I believe that you earned this through all your hard work and application. I used to enjoy your earlier posts mentioning your work at a school and a prison. I think you were hard to beat for this job. The other places you applied to clearly didn't 'get it' and that is their misfortune. And that of their students. You will fly Ms TSFOML!

  4. Oh, this story gave me goosebumps. It was interesting to me that they wanted to see what kind of reference letter you might write. I always insist on interviewing a student before I agree to write a reference.

  5. Fantastic new, Jane! Although I find so sweet that you believe in "magic" and in your good luck charm, I'm pretty sure that you earned your job but being clever and the best of all our competitors! Well done. Please keep us informed about your job is doing. it sound very interesting. My son is in the Sixth Form College and he is in need of a good Career Coach. I might have to ask you some advice very soon if I may...Ciao.A.x