Reference Letters

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by asyakob, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. asyakob

    asyakob Rookie

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    Aug 30, 2017

    Hi all,

    I am in the process of getting my teaching certification via alternate route in NJ (this process should be completed within the month).
    The part on my applitrack applications that keep getting me is my reference letter.
    On one hand, I WANT to ask my boss for a reference letter. I work at a math tutoring company and I think that she would have good things to say about me. And, she may even have a good piece of advice for me or two, since she was once a teacher herself.
    But, on the other hand, I have no idea if it is a good idea to ask my boss for a reference letter for another job.

    Any thoughts? Should I tell my boss (where I currently work part time) that I would like to be a full time teacher and would like to have a reference letter from her? I think she may appreciate my being candid and transparent about thinking of leaving soon, but all I've ever heard about this is that it's tacky to ask this from your current boss.

    Regarding me being a full time teacher, I know it's practically September so I am not looking for a full-time job starting right away. I'd be looking into leave-replacement positions (currently have my eye on two) that start later in the school year, so I wouldn't have a set date for leaving, but it would at least a couple of months from now.
     
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  3. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Companion

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    Aug 30, 2017

    I think you are safe to ask your boss as long as you have a reasonable relationship. Good bosses encourage people to stretch (even if it means losing them). If you are only working part time, she probably anticipates that you will eventually move on. I would frame it as something along the lines of, I really appreciate x, y and z about working at Tutoring Company A. (These things need to be sincere). I really want to take my career to the next level and am looking to teach and would appreciate a reference letter from you.
     
  4. rpan

    rpan Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2017

    It's great to give your boss a couple months notice and I think the candour will be appreciated. At least you didn't leave her high and dry and scrambling to find a replacement. Just be honest and have a face to face conversation.
     
  5. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Aug 31, 2017

    What are you afraid of? Losing a part time tutoring gig?
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 31, 2017

    Practically September? LOL

    YES! Ask for the LOR. Your job is part time and it should come as no surprise to your boss that you are looking for full time in your profession. You could leave the door open with your boss to be available for a few hours per week if you do get a teaching job....
     
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  7. asyakob

    asyakob Rookie

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    Sep 3, 2017

    I appreciate the replies and only got the chance to log on today to see them!

    Definitely not afraid of losing the job -- I think I'm just not so sure how to approach her about it. But seeing all of your replies that it's better to ask now than leave suddenly later definitely ups my confidence. :)

    Does anyone have any tips of how to ask bring it up? Should I do it in writing (email) or in person? This is my second time working there (took a break for maternity reasons) and the first time, it was easy to mention I was leaving because I was having a baby and I didn't feel the need to ask anything from her. So this is new to me!
     
  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Sep 3, 2017

    Personally, I'd say it depends on their personality and your relationship.
     
  9. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Companion

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    Sep 3, 2017

    I would talk to your boss. First, you can read them better that way and secondly I think it is more professional/ authentic. I would just be honest, share the news and tell them what you are looking for from them. Something like, "Hey can I talk to you for a second? .......So you know I've always been passionate about teaching. I love working here and love the experience I'm building and the flexibility the job provides (or whatever you like about it). Lately, I've been starting to think about what I want to do long term so I've decided to pursue ......... In the next few months, I'm going to be applying to positions and I was hoping I could use you as a reference.

    If they say yes, I'd actually sit down with them and talk to them about what they appreciate in you and make some notes. You know your boss. I've had bosses where after this I'd say, okay do you want me to leave it with you or would it help if I wrote up a summary of my notes from the meeting and shared it? Other bosses, I'd just ask them when they wanted me to check in about the letter. At least 75% of my references have preferred if I share the notes and then they just tweak the letter and I get it back way faster.
     

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