Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you are currently seeking to move up in your education career, have you found yourself saying one (or more) of these statements?

  • I don’t like how school H.R. departments work today – everything has changed, and not for the better
  • Social media is so stupid
  • When I looked for a job 10 years ago, things were different…better…easier
  • I have never had to look for a job; I have always been sought out – until now
  • Back in the day, my resume’ and experience spoke for itself
  • Are you really serious about this build your personal brand nonsense?  Just hire me!
  • I have sent out at least 30 resumes and have not gotten one response or interview
  • Look, I have assistant principal or principal experience, and I am not interested in learning about ‘building my personal brand’– I just need you to give me some connections
  • Networking is a big waste of time. Been there, done that…it didn’t work
  • What’s the big deal about LinkedIn, and why do I need to even be on it?
  • I don’t understand K-12 recruiters – I thought they were supposed to find me a job
  • I don’t know why I keep applying for these school leadership positions.  They already know who they want to hire anyway
  • I’m not politically connected. So I will never get hired as a school leader
  • If I was (insert excuse…white, black, bilingual, male, female, tall, skinny, etc.), I would already be an assistant principal or principal!

I’m sure if we’re being transparent, many of us have made statements similar to these in the past.  But the reality is having a negative mindset will not help you get hired.  And you don’t want your negative self-talk to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Listen, no one is going to give you your next school leadership position served up on a silver platter. You must have a growth mindset. You must be productive in your current position, positive, proactive, and persistent! You must be willing to use some new strategies and tools to advance your international education career. If you are willing to grow, learn, and take action, here are five specific ideas to help you move forward:

  1. Be willing to listen and learn from a mentor or career coach who has current or previous experience as an assistant principal or school principal. It will save you time, money and frustration. Don’t expect to get hired tomorrow. It may take some time, effort and patience to earn your first or next school leadership position.
  2. Redo your resume’ with updated experiences, references and maybe even a whole new resume’ format, with a professional photo.
  3. Optimize your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts (if you have one), and build and maintain your own personal website. (
  4. Continue to do an exemplary job in your current position and Network, Network, Network!
  5. Know that looking for a school leadership job in today’s job market is tough; so invest in your own professional development, constantly evaluate and refine your job search strategy…and never give up!

Your Turn:
Does your personal website showcase your education, experience, skills and abilities?
Do you even have a personal website?
Is your LinkedIn profile fully optimised? Do you have a Twitter account?
When is the last time YOU (not your school) invested in your own professional growth and development?

By: Dr Joseph Williams III