I feel like a failure.

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Boba, Jul 31, 2015.

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  1. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I haven't read through all the posts, so I apologize if this has been covered, but do you speak Spanish? We just hired a new counselor and I am sure the fact that she is bilingual/bicultural was a big plus for her in our district which is 50% Latino (North Bay CA). It might not seem fair if you are English-only, but the fact is that many of our families don't speak English and translation can only go so far to creating home connections in some instances.

    I haven't met her in person yet so I can't comment on how "in shape" she is, but I really don't think that would be an issue either way. I have colleagues of all shapes, sizes, and appearances and people are respected for their skills and the value of their character, not how skinny they are or the color of their hair... :2cents:
     
  2. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I'm in a highly competitive area of a highly competitive state. Hiring committees aren't 'intimidated' by candidates' looks or credentials. They are looking for a total package of education, experience, know how, passion, poise and professionalism. It can take A WHILE to get a gen Ed job...Counseling jobs are fewer and farther between. Good news is you are getting interviews. Keep at it, but reflect on how you can better present yourself as a competitive candidate in interviews. Good luck!
     
  3. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I will add on that during interviews I was hoping I wouldn't get judged for my appearance. I see a lot of pretty young "in shape" teachers being interviewed. I'm the opposite, average looking, overweight and not so young (in my 30's) but I do look young, although when you read my resume and do the math you know I'm not. I have to say the reason I worried about my appearance isn't because I wasn't pretty enough, it was because What if they look at me and think, oh she's not healthy looking maybe she'll take a lot of sick days, or she's overweight so maybe she's lazy.

    Honestly you can't let those thoughts bother you. There's enough educated competition out there that looks aren't a concern to admin. Plus it's discrimination anyways.
     
  4. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Aug 11, 2015

    op, are you open to going back to teaching if you are not able to get a counseling position? I have not been on as many interviews as you, but I can relate on your struggle. I have only been on 4 interviews the last 2 weeks, and it is mentally exhausting! I'm not getting offers either, I'm a new graduate teacher.

    You were talking about your appearance as being a down side, but there can be negatives both ways. I'm a very pretty young thing, I look younger than I really am, but I am in my upper 20s. Anyways, today at my interview the Principal mentioned 3 times how young I look and said it is a positive and a negative at at the same time..... Everytime I go to an interview, I try to look as old as possible, and tone it down.
     
  5. burgandy01

    burgandy01 Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2015

    I'd say the bilingual part may be a factor also.
     
  6. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 11, 2015

    Okay so I got a lot of replies here so I will try to condense it!

    I apologize if I offended anyone with my theory on looks in education. It has just been my experience overall. In general (education or not) I just think an attractive woman over a less attractive woman is LESS likely going to get hired (after an interview) if most of the people doing interviewing are females. If most of the people doing the interviews are male, they then are more likely to pick the attractive female. Again just my observations!

    On not being bilingual, that is definitely a possibility. The odd thing is, when I was teaching for those interviews I always got asked if I'm bilingual. On all the counseling interviews I've had this summer, I didn't get asked that a single time. You would think they would ask about that on these interviews too. But in any case, yeah I could see a school with a decent size Hispanic population picking someone bilingual over me regardless of experience. I get it.

    Anyway I mentioned this earlier in my thread that my mom had a feeling for the "elite" district that has 3 rounds of interviews (no demos either- just straight interviews!) I would be the token white girl (I'm not PC but again sorry if that offends people). On the first interview round, I was there very early and saw a few people being interviewed. There was a mix of Asians, Hispanics, and whites. This school district (staff and students) is largely white and in a very affluent part of OC. I would actually be surprised if they hired someone who is white for this job unless they are already working in the district. In any case with that interview like I said earlier today, I was very nervous and it reflected in the interview.

    So I had 1 interview yesterday and 2 today. I mentioned about the first, but now will mention the 2nd. This is for a fairly large district that hasn't hired counselors in years. There's a bit of a story with that district. I've been an on call sub for them for maybe 4 years now. I just sub here and there to keep an active employee number. By an act of fate or whatever you want to call it, in October I was subbing at a school next to the counseling office of the whole school district. I was there early so I figured what the heck and asked the counseling secretary if they were going to be hiring counselors anytime soon. She didn't really give me details but the counseling director overheard and took the time to speak to me even though she didn't have to. Over a period of 5 months I loosely kept in touch with her via email and I had a 1:1 interview with her in April. We were talking for easily an hour and she gave me a lot of advice and basically interviewed me when no one outside of the district was meeting with her. This woman is like an angel to me LOL. Months later I got 2 calls to interview for counseling jobs. A few days ago I got a call from HR asking if I want to now have an HR interview where this time I just get placed (principals can interview counselors or leave it up to HR to place someone). I said of course and that leads me to the last interview I had today.

    I met a man working in HR 1:1 for maybe 35 minutes. He said he just wanted to meet with people to determine who to send for what vacancies since the fit is important. He then said to me would call me to let me know tomorrow where to go from here. Looks promising but after all these interviews I won't put all my eggs into 1 basket. He did tell me I didn't get the last job I interviewed at with this district (I would have liked it too) because there were a lot of qualified counselors who were just transfers in the district. Nice of the principal to have called me letting me know that....

    I'm hoping for an offer ANYWHERE by the end of the week. The first job I interviewed at today is in a city I would love to live and work in and is only 70 minutes from my family. The drawback with that district is I was told this is the first time they have hired counselors in years so I would be starting up programs. If budgets though get reduced again, counselors would surely be gone or have their hours cut. The second is also in a great city that I have lived in before but is basically 2.5 hours from family. It's a much larger district with more of a union present so I do feel there is somewhat more job security which is why despite being farther from family, it would be my first choice. I'd accept either or if offered!

    Sorry this was so long. It just helps me to track my thoughts and feelings on this interviewing process. Maybe this helps others (or not).

    Anon, feel free to email me.
     
  7. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 11, 2015

    Today I wore my hair back thinking it makes me look older and heavier in the face. Hopefully that worked LOL! I have reading glasses too that I think I will start wearing on interviews.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2015

    Despite the apology, this still comes off as a sexist and insulting mindset! Maybe the rest of us should post our pics here to show you how darn cute we all are! :woot:


    From my experiences on my school hiring committee I can tell you that while first impressions matter, what tips the decision is a compelling candidate who can clearly articulate who they are as an educator in a way that conveys their education, experience, know how, passion....:2cents:
     
  9. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2015

    Boba, the glasses thing you mentioned just reminded me...my mom is very petite, blonde, and *adorable* and was having trouble moving up the admin ladder. I did get the feeling that part of it might have been the fact that to certain people, she might not have "looked the part" of a HS principal or superintendent, despite her 30+ year career, PhD, etc. She tried wearing fake glasses for interviews and I think she thought it helped.

    Honestly though, I think it was really about presence: she has a very light, bubbly persona that perhaps didn't convey the "gravitas" of these upper-level positions. So I still think it is more about how you come across rather than just what you look like physically.

    I don't know if it applies to counseling, but I do believe there is still sexism especially for these higher-level, leadership positions, especially back East where she was. It's still an "old boys' club" in many places. I find that to be less true where I am in the Bay Area, though.
     
  10. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015


    Alright then don't. My views are different from yours and I can accept other peoples' views.
     
  11. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    Counseling typically isn't like that especially in elementary to middle. Your mom sort of reminds me of myself. I'm a warm, outgoing person. For counseling positions I see that as being a must.
     
  12. teacherin2014

    teacherin2014 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2015

    As much as I hate to say it, I personally think that looks matter a lot. I have had several people (family members, college program director, cooperating teacher) tell me that I may have a hard time getting a job as an HS teacher, because of my size (25-year-old female, 4'11", ~125 pounds) and that interviewers will probably wonder how a person like me can handle high schoolers. I am also look very young despite being extremely dressed up when I go on interviews and when I am subbing. I have mistaken for an HS student many times. I was even asked, "Where's your hall pass?" when subbing in middle schools!

    I also agree with Boba's comments to an extent about young, thin, attractive teachers being discriminated against. Most of the female interviewers that I've interacted with looked, dressed, and acted like prudish librarians, despite in their 40s at the most. Most of them were also overweight. I'm usually one of the thinnest adults in the building in the schools I sub at, even in comparison to the teachers in their 20s. When I was subbing, I've had obese teachers make comments at me about how "healthy" my lunch of Greek yogurt and fruit was and about how little I ate, while they ate their third donut of the day. I used to be obese myself, so I can make comments like this. Also, I personally think that I would be discriminated against even more if I was still heavy, so size discrimination goes both ways.
     
  13. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I definitely see what you are saying especially with your last statement. I think when being interviewed by women or mainly women, the preference TENDS to be average looking women with average bodies (not good figures, not skinny, and not obese).

    It's interesting because I've read several articles online that talk about 'beauty discrimination" (both ways), but I haven't read one specific to hiring in education. I think in education it would be very different from say the corporate world because it's a female dominated field.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2015

    You've spoken here of 'middle aged overweight women', women who are 'less attractive' and 'average looking women with average bodies.' Do you think your judgements of yourself and others are affecting your ability to come across professionally?
     
  15. burgandy01

    burgandy01 Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2015

    All in know is that you must have a bangin' resume to be called to interview as often as you are. I wish you luck, I know it's frustrating because it doesn't look promising that I'll find a job this year.
     
  16. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    Let's be mature about this and agree to disagree.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I think most here can agree to differing opinions. Can you agree that there might be other more important factors besides looks that go into hiring decisions?
     
  18. Boba

    Boba Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I believe there are different factors for different people. Unfortunately I think looks is very common in a lot of industries. Sorry if my opinion isn't on par with yours.
     
  19. renard

    renard Companion

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I would really try and take czacza's advice to heart. If you have been called 12+ times, the issue is not your resume or credentials. After that many rejections, it is really time to re-evaluate your interviews.

    I get the impression here that you may have overestimated how well you are coming across in interviews. It is no surprise that some posters here are put off by you blaming external factors. Once, twice, four times... possible. 12? Consider that you are coming off as overconfident or even presumptuous.

    Any detection of a lack of humility (as opposed to confidence) will kill an interview. Good luck.

    Interestingly enough, despite being a young, skinny gal, the middle-aged ladies were always the kindest to me.
     
  20. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2015

    czacza, let it go: you're not helping your cause.

    Boba, entertain the possibility that there might be a problem here that isn't just everyone else's.

    I think this thread has run its course.
     
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