In On booby prizes and new horizons from Blue Skunk Blog, Doug Johnson shares that he is moving to a new position but reflects on how he got his current position and his feelings when he didn’t get his “dream” job 25 years ago. He says,
“Don't mistake the edge of a rut for the horizon.
~ James Patterson”
“On retrospect the booby prize turned out to be the grand prize.”
Years ago, when I decided to leave a school that I had been at for 11 years even though it was a 45 minute drive from my house, I applied to a school nearest to my home. I knew it would be perfect for me because years ago I had lived near the school I taught at and I loved it. I loved being part of the community. I loved being close enough to go to many of the after school activities. I knew that this would be my dream job. Even though it was a drop in pay, I would save so much in gas and time so it would be worth it.
When I decided to interview for the special ed position, my friend who works for the district talked me into applying to another school a little further away (15 minutes from my home). I didn’t want to interview but my husband told me that it would be a good experience to practice my interview skills so I went to both interviews.
My dream job interview was okay but the principal told me that he already promised the job to someone else and was waiting to hear from him. He also said that if the other man didn’t take the job that he would give me a call.
My second interview (remember the one that I didn’t really want to go to?) was an amazing interview. The administrators spent the time actually trying to convince me to come to their school rather than the other way around. As we walked around the school, I heard teachers laughing and sounding like they enjoyed being there. Students were smiling and greeting the administrators as we walked through the halls. Any of my concerns (size of the classroom, number of students, optimal teaching schedule) were all addressed to my satisfaction. Within days I was offered the job.
Needless to say, I was disappointed that I didn’t get my “dream job” but I decided to take the second job because they made me feel so good about myself. They acted like they really wanted me and that was a good feeling!
I spent the next 7 years at this school and I never regretted this decision. I had the most amazing colleagues and even though it was a huge school (2300 students), we all worked well together. My principal decided I had leadership abilities and made me the head of the department. This belief helped me grow so much professionally and I ended up being chosen Teacher of the Year. In fact, I was a top 10 finalist out of the 5000 teachers in the district! I don’t think this would have happened if I hadn’t come to this school.
So, I believe that things happen because they are meant to happen. I may not have gotten what I had thought was my “dream job” but I actually got the job of my dreams!
Have you ever not gotten your dream job but it turned out better than you thought it would? Please share.