Teaching at a college or university is a dream job for many people but getting a position can be a challenge. If you are interested in working in academia, there are some steps that might help you find employment.
Get Teaching Experience
Many teaching positions are now taught by people who don’t work full-time for the particular institution; this means that there may be more opportunities than in previous times. Embrace opportunities to teach even if it is in non-traditional roles to get experience; you can use this when making your case as to why you are a good fit.
You should also be willing to pitch in to fill in for other instructors as a substitute whenever you can; this curries favor with people how may be able to give you a recommendation. Try to demonstrate that you can teach in multiple areas in order to avoid getting pigeonholed into one specific area. That will limit your teaching opportunities.
Get Administrative Experience
Most instructors have to deal with some paperwork. But to solidify your position, you will need to be interested in other areas at the institution. There are various committees like Ethics, Curriculum, Research, or Student Relations which have faculty participants; this role is an important part of academic life. As you are looking to find a job, you need to get some administrative experience. You can volunteer for committees at church, at your child’s school, or for various charitable organizations. This will count in interviews.
Network with Others
Academia is very dependent on networking. If you worked with a current or previous professor in any capacity in the past, that person may be your best bet to getting a position in teaching. Cultivate a relationship with your professors because if they like you and feel like you are a protégé, he or she will work with you to help you make the leap.
Be Mindful of Deadlines
You have to send in your application at the right time in the hiring cycle to get a position in academia. It is best to have your application and letters of recommendation in early in the fall of the year before you want to start working because this gives your application a bit more attention. If you wait, your paperwork will get caught in the crush of other applications and may be missed.
For more help on finding a job in academia, you can sign up for our Get Hired Boot Camp today.