Friday, April 21, 2006
suited or illsuited?

I've never been much of a fan of career fairs / jobs fairs. I suppose part of my negative impressions of them come from my experiences during my last few years at the U-Dub, graduating in the abyssmal depths of the craptastic, post-dotcom crash years of 2001, 2002, and 2003. Even worst for me then, as a new business/IT/InfoSys grad, the streets and hills of Seattle were awash with the wretched shuffling of laid-off tech workers. Unable to find a job, I was unemployed for over a year, filling up my time with volunteer work and the occasional small contract job, while fellow U-Dub IT/InfoSys homies Ryan and David fared a little bit better in landing permanent work.

Plus, the "fakeness" and the virtual wh0ring that goes on a lot of career fairs never was my style. The idea of "selling myself", endless smiling, flattering, and catering to recruiters... I've never had much talent in the ancient art of ass-kissing.


I mention all this career fair stuff because I neglected to blog that I went to one this past Tuesday at the Tacoma Dome. It was this mega career fair, focused exclusively on teachers / education, with all the booths being the representatives from school districts in Washington state, private schools, and even school districts from other states - California, New York, Texas, etc. My cohort of fellow MIT (masters in teaching) students from SU organized a group to go, so I got the day off from teaching and dressed up in my fancy clothes to go...

(For obvious reasons, I normally don't wear a suit to school. Anybody who's seriously worked on a daily basis with elementary school kids knows how impractical that'd be.)

Outwardly speaking, this career fair was no different than previous ones I've attended (format, the rituals of meeting a recruiter, etc.), but let me shock you by saying this: It was actually a bearable (maybe even) good(!) experience, and it was the complete opposite of my experiences around this time of year over 3 years ago in 2003.

Lemme break down a couple of things.

  • 2003: I was just another guy in IT, in a career field bursting at the seams with, well... guys.
    2005: Few men are interested in teaching elementary school. In the career fair of elementary education, women make up the vast majority.

  • 2003: Finding an Asian/ AsianAm guy working IT in a company is about as common as STDs at a US military base in Asia. While applying for a job then, they probably groaned and said in their minds... "Great, another one of THEM."

    2005Of the very few men who work in elementary school, even fewer of them are people of color. Double bonus for me.

Not to brag, but to make a long story short, of the four or so different, major school district booths I visited, each recruiter there was chomping at the bit to get me to commit to entering the hiring process, give me an interview, or even... offer me a job! All the positive attention was both flattering and overwhelming. I've sort of known intellectually for awhile now that being a non-white, male elementary school teacher would make me a heavily recruited commodity, but experiencing all that stuff in person is a whole different ballpark. Hrmph.

Nothing is guaranteed, but it is a nice feeling to know and finally understand that the job search process for this year will be considerably easier than it was for me over 4 years ago.


Strangely enough, my anxious thoughts now turn toward making the right decision about where I want to work. Yeah, it's nice to have the option of four or five job offers, but in the end, I'm only going to be able to physically work at only one school.

I pray God helps me make the right decision about where I should work and who to teach. I don't think it'll be easy making a decision right away, though...

*EDIT* Oops. Bad groggy monkey.


woohoo, he's hot and on fire! ;oP

those are some huge ass name tags. or maybe it is just the perspective. and the apple...haha

heh. I guess us teachers have bad eyesight, so we need XL nametags?

you are totally a hot commodity. i'm so happy that it was a great career fair! yay! i normally hate interviews too - i just don't fare well at them, but hopefully, it won't be the case when i start the process this time around. :)
Thx. I'm sure you'll do well too... after all, you can bust out your super Espanol skillz!
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



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