I have sent out over 20 job applications in the past two months. I have researched each school and position, written thoughtful cover letters that specifically pertain to each school or organization, asked long-suffering former professors to send letters of recommendation, and so far I have only received a couple of responses. The responses I have received go something like this, "Thank you for your interest in this position, but we are looking for someone with experience running ____ program in a school," or "Thank you for your interest in this position, but you lack the necessary qualifications for this job." I had an interview with one lady (via Skype) and she told me, "You have so much potential, but you are lacking in experience."
First of all, It is the perennial issue that no one will hire someone without "experience," yet there is no experience to be gained if no one will hire! Secondly, I match every qualification specified for each position. In fact, I over-qualify for some of them! Thirdly, even though I have not taught in a traditional school setting, I have MUCH experience teaching all grade levels, ranging from private students, to group classes, to youth ensembles.
So, what am I to do now?
No one will hire without experience, therefore I will never get experience, therefore I will never get hired.
I am starting to wonder if every decision I have made has been the wrong one. I should have done my teaching credential right after my B.A., then I should have taught in a public school for a few years (to get "experience") before pursuing a Master's.
Alas, I cannot think of it like that. I need to think of it like this:
If I had started my credential right out of undergrad, I wouldn't have been able to study with Dr. Archibeque.
If I hadn't moved to San Jose to study with Dr. Archibeque, I wouldn't have broken up with my long-term boyfriend.
If I hadn't broken up with my long-term boyfriend, I wouldn't have been so lonely and depressed, and then I wouldn't have signed up for eHarmony and met Peter. (If I hadn't met Peter, then we wouldn't have gotten married and I wouldn't be in Rio right now...)
If I hadn't been lonely and depressed then I wouldn't have had so many health issues and I would't have taken a year off of school.
If I hadn't taken a year off of school and returned the following year, then I wouldn't have met certain people who have turned out to be some of my best friends.
So I guess it all works out in the end.
Meanwhile, the job search continues, and I'm trying not to get discouraged.