As a second year graduate student, I had only a few main concerns: pass the Praxis, finish my coursework and clinical practicums, and find a job. I took the Praxis in January so that I could focus on the job search later on.
My plan was to interview over Spring Break and have a job lined up by graduation. Instead, I spent my break picking out the perfect bridesmaids' dresses with my mom and sister. Sure, I filled out some applications, but I certainly wasn't interviewing yet. Then came the decisions of where I wanted to apply or not apply and how many applications to fill out. Do I fill out anything and everything? Should I be picky? How much is the average first year SLP making in this area?
Overwhelmed yet? I sure was. I decided to apply for *most* positions, though I eliminated the ones that I knew would not work for me. I looked everywhere for job listings. Here's a list of resources to get you started:
- Word of mouth- I cannot even begin to tell you how important this one is
- Email the local clinics
- MO Reap (for Missouri)
- School District Websites
- Hospital Websites
- ASHA Convention- You can interview there
- Discuss it with your clinical practicum site
I enclosed a resume, cover letter, and transcripts with each of my applications. Most sites will ask for this. Some sites gave me a confirmation email immediately after submitting my application. Other sites just told me "Congrats, you've submitted it successfully" right on the page. Some employers emailed me right away; others I still haven't heard from. It is a little crazy how variable it is.
I remember feeling extremely annoyed when everyone was talking about jobs they already had lined up, and I hadn't found one. Then, I realized that pretty much everyone in my area was still looking, and those who had found jobs were moving to other cities. I still didn't understand why they could have jobs lined up before graduation and I couldn't.
I think it's a lesson in patience. In fact, I know it's a lesson in patience. It's a lesson in trust. It's a lesson in maintaining high hopes and motivation. There is a job out there for me, and it will be exactly what I need (for whatever reason that may be). I just have to trust that my timing is not necessarily His timing.
Why am I writing this? Probably because I need to hear it myself. It can be an extremely frustrating process. Rejection hurts, especially when you had your hopes up. But use that as motivation to keep applying and find something else!
So all of that to say, it can be a brutal process. It is necessary, however, so keep your chin up!
Do you have any tips for us new grads?