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It’s contract time. Have you considered altering your career focus? Many teachers are not getting a contract this spring. Not because they are horrible, it is due to budget cuts.

School districts are squeezing their budgets by closing schools, down sizing staff and not replacing retiring teacher positions. Education is a business. When the money is not there, someone has to go.

This may be frustrating if you are one of the ones that are not getting a contract, but think of it as a chance for an opportunity. There is something else you wanted to do differently instead of going to school. And even if going to the school is what you want, and loosing your job is inevitable, there are still possibilities out there for you.

I know, once a teacher, always a teacher. You think you must be teaching someone. Yes, you can still teach someone. Just be innovative in your options.

1. Be sincere with yourself. What other job would you be happy doing? If you do not know. Take a personal career inventory. I took the Career Center Test (Free). I also took the Briggs Myers Career Growth Information ($8.95). Both were fairly precise (Take the free one).

2. Beef up your professional career profile (Resume). Resume writing has changed so much in just a couple of years. If you have been teaching for 5 years or more, I would invest in getting assistance in improving your resume. One I would suggest (Blue Sky Guide to Resume Writing) $49.

3. Build your profile on Monster.com and/or CareerBuilder.com. Make a LinkedIn.com profile. LinkedIn is for professionals. There are no, “Oh I went to the hair salon today,” type comments. All comments are professional comments. People are “LINKED” professionally. Blue Sky Guide to LinkedIn is another source that will assist you in building a LinkedIn profile.

4. Ask yourself, where do you see yourself 5, 10, 20 years from now. Are you willing to relocate to another school, district, state or country to get there? (Dave’s ESL Caf) is a fantastic resource for teaching overseas.

5. Have you considered there may be another niche in education that might entice you?

6. You may need to take a course at a community college, or technical school to achieve your goal. Some courses may be free, or you may receive a scholarship.

7. You are an expert at something. Consider a business. Yes, you may be up against big name franchises, but you can offer something a little different that would bring clients your way using your expertise. Purchasing a franchise may be an outstanding opportunity for you. Most of them do not want to see you unsuccessful. There is support.

8. Volunteer. Helping out is another way to network in obtaining employment. Volunteer with a company that is of interest to you.

9. Networking is something we as teachers do not do often. Google ‘networking opportunities” in your area. Many of these events are free. Some of The Urban League’s activities for networking are free, subscribe to their email list. My area Urban League has networking activities at least monthly.

When one door closes. It is just an opportunity for another to open. Your educational career is not over just because you didn’t get a contract. Do not be depressed. Jump for joy! You are able to start something new.

Looking to find information on your job search , then visit Blue Sky Guide to LinkedIn to find the best advice on teacher employment for you.

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