Q: I have been a stay at home mom for the past ten years. I am interested in pursuing adjunct teaching at a local college or university. I did teach about 10 years ago but my contacts there may have moved on. I have about 15 years of professional work experience and several advanced degrees. What is the best way to inquire about these jobs?
A: Congratulations on your interest in returning to teaching! Let’s start by exploring your prior teaching experience.
Try to re-establish a relationship with some of these contacts. You might want to even stop by the college and visit. Or check the college’s website to see if there are any names familiar to you. Additionally, you could check LinkedIn to re-connect with employees currently working there as well as former employees. Colleges (and other employers) often like to re-hire quality talent. Re-hires often “hit the ground” a bit more quickly than other newly hired employees who have no or little experience with the employer.
You should also update your resume if you have not done so. Ensure that you have a focus on your higher education experience, especially teaching. Also, begin gathering your professional references.
Begin networking and using other job hunting tools. Social media of all types can be useful in a job search. Spend about 75% of your job search time networking and not behind a computer. Networking with professional and social contacts is still the best way to find out about job opportunities.
Also check out higher education-specific websites. One site in particular to visit is higheredjobs.com.
Lastly, familiarize yourself with how technology has impacted higher education, especially with the evolution of e-learning and online learning options. During the last 10 years, technology has had an incredible impact on how content is delivered to students.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.