Just read quick post on the Chronicle entitled, “In Pursuit of a Professional Soul Mate“. I can imagine in this season of job searching (we’re currently experiencing Wave #1 as I call it) many people are trying to decide what they are looking for in a position – even those of us who are not new to the profession. Every search is just that. A search…to perhaps find that ‘soul mate position’ that we can commit to. But what should we be looking for? Every stage of our lives we search for something different.
–verb (used with object)
to go or look through (a place, area, etc.) carefully in order to find something missing or lost. Hopefully that thing missing is you and your brilliancy right? But this also includes the campus, the city or town the institution is located. Looking carefully to find what may be missing from your “ideal” lifestyle. Looking to see what your contributions to this particular office would be. What do you bring to the table? What’s missing with the team? Do you think you’d be a fit?
to look at or examine (a person, object, etc.) carefully in order to find something concealed. You know how this goes. Looking for the cracks. To try and sus out the office politics between the lines. Figuring out what people may “really” be saying when they explain the position and the qualifications of the “ideal candidate” they are looking for.
to explore or examine in order to discover. Make sure to explore the institution and the area that you would possibly being living in. Is your favorite store nearby? Favorite types of food? With the institution – where’s your office? Are you in a collegial setting or stuck in a windowless hole away from other staff? Do you prefer one or the other and could you honestly see yourself coming to work everyday and working in that office or working with these people?
to look at, read, or examine (a record, writing, collection, repository, etc.) for information. You must understand the vision, mission and goals of the institution and must be able to get behind them. You may come across an institution that’s big on getting students in, but cannot articulate the intended outcomes of their students when they graduate. Check out the marketing materials that the institution gives out. Do they match up with what you see actually happening? Does the staff of the office you hope to work in feel the “idea” of the university or the “descriptors” are accurate.
to look at or beneath the superficial aspects of to discover a motive, reaction, feeling, basic truth, etc.
to look into, question, or scrutinize: She searched her conscience. I think #5 and #6 are very similar in that once you start putting together all the information about a position that you’re interested in the last part of the search must come from within yourself. Any red flags? Are you SURE? Sometimes we ignore the red flags or things we know we shouldn’t settle for (just like in any relationship) because you want to make it work. When I was told I was being offered a job in New Orleans – my brain and my heart almost exploded. I was so completely excited and so happy and there have been only a few other times in my life when I had that much enthusisam. Looking back – it was a definitely a good indicator that I had found a professional soul mate. Just like when my husband and I bumped into each other during a Mardi Gras parade two years after our first meeting…I knew he was the one.