When I first started Study Abroad Careers, my intended audience was the true newcomer - someone who was trying to break in but didn't have the support or resources to fully understand the field. It didn't take long before I realized a significant portion of the blog readers were current education abroad professionals. These people are secretly lurking because they are engaged in an incognito job search or just seeing what is out there.
(Hello, friend! Your secret is safe with me.)
In a recent conversation with Missy Gluckmann, from Melibee Global, I learned they also work with international educators who are well-established in the field. These job-seekers understand the value and benefit of coaching and professional development. They also need to remain anonymous as they reach out for this type of help.
It then dawned on me that while breaking in feels really hard, job 2 onward can be equally challenging. You have the skills and experience down, but you can't really shout "hire me" from the rooftops like you could before. Networking for your next position, while still employed in your current role, takes delicate maneuvering and time. There's another thing...During early to mid-career, you aren't just looking for a job. You are developing a resume storyline. Each subsequent position matters a bit more.
Given all this, in the middle part of your career it's common to feel a bit "stuck". That's why I want to share some information about two career resources that should be of interest to mid-career professionals:
This is ideal for anyone who needs a strategic sounding board, but is particularly useful for current education abroad professionals. Missy provides one-on-one private coaching, tailored to your career development needs. Learn more.
Webinar: International Educators Coping with Stress: Striking a Balance
If you work in study abroad you are no stranger to work-related stress. From managing health and safety, to working in an understaffed office, sometimes we forget to put on our own oxygen mask first. This affordable webinar will help you restore your balance. The LIVE webinar will be held on Thursday, October 27th at 3 pm (EST). All contributions for the session will be donated to the Jane Gluckmann and Carol Rausch Go Global Scholarship (administered by the Fund for Education Abroad). Learn more.
As time goes on, I'll continue to share resources like these and perspectives for mid-career professionals alongside the "breaking in" posts. Just know I realize you are here. Please stick around. And be sure to drop me a line if there is something I can do to better address topics of interest to you as a mid-career professional.
Forget March, this September came in like a lion. The back to school energy on my campus meant busy days filled with heaps of excited students asking questions about study abroad. There were two new peer advisors to train (using some of Abbie's awesome training advice). Then I had a bit of regional travel for a few study abroad meetings.
Just because I was busy tending to "the day job" doesn't mean I've stopped cultivating study abroad job search nuggets for all of you here on the blog. It might be mid-September, but better late than never is my new motto.
Last week, while making that 10-hour roundtrip drive to my meeting destination, I had the chance to take in a new audiobook that fired me up: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, the Liz Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame). I highly recommend the book, even if you don't consider yourself "a maker". Check it out. Seriously. Do it!
In the book, Gilbert shares a great career advice tidbit from Mark Manson's blog where he talks about finding your life purpose. She explains that all jobs -- even what you perceive as the "dream jobs" have a part that sucks. It is 100% true. Every job requires some level of sacrifice So finding the right fit is less about "your passion" and more about what negative things you are willing to tolerate to chase your dream. Or as Mason says,
"What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat?"
Wowza! How many ways do I love that?!
Isn't it the truth, though? The downside is ever so important to consider as you pursue a job-- whether it is your first job or your fourteenth. What kinds of sacrifices you are willing to make? Would you take low pay, an undesirable location, a cross-country move, horrible long hours, a title demotion, zero flexibility, abysmal benefits, no travel, too much travel, responsibility levels that induce stress? You get the idea...
Considering the not-so-glam side of a job is a great way to stay grounded in your search.
Our natural tendency is to read a job description and immediately start dreaming about our new life in that perfect position. (This is particularly true if you are already in a job you feel has let you down.) Think about it -- if you are in a job now, surely at some point that job seemed like a perfect opportunity. And it likely was fab. You learned. You grew. You paid those student loans. But here you sit, looking through job postings, hoping to find something your current position cannot provide-- things you need to nurture your "you-ness".
In this process of searching and dreaming it is easy to lose sight of reality. Every job has something that is less than ideal. You probably just don't have the inside information to see it yet. This is an important truth to accept. It doesn't mean you shouldn't strive for growth and possibility in a new role. Not at all. It just means that maybe choosing your next move involves looking at the benefits and drawbacks before you leap. It means you ask more questions of yourself. Know your dreams but also come to terms with what kind of "shit sandwich" you can stomach.
So how about it? What are you willing to put up with to fulfill your ultimate career goals?