After watching the role of your administrator and making notes on what his or her position entails, you decide to complete your degree in school leadership and have set the goal to become an administrator yourself. Congratulations on your positive career decision! But in the back of your mind, you wonder if there are other things that can be done to better your chances of becoming an administrator. The answer is, “Absolutely!” Here are some tips on how to network to find an administrative position.
Be Active in your School District
My advice to you is to get out there and be seen! Generally there are two sets of people who need to know who you are and what you’re capable of doing. First, the central administration office staff needs to know you. You can accomplish this by doing anything from taking the mail for your school or participating in activities which will help you be noticed in and out of the building. While all of these staff members may not be in on the final decision-making interview, they can be a great influence if their opinion is sought in casual conversation, where you hope they may answer, “Oh yes, I’ve seen her around. She is always so friendly when she brings the mail.” A simple comment can go a long way in determining who gets the job.
Another way you can make yourself known is to attend board meetings. This is a perfect opportunity to be seen as someone who’s concerned about what is going on inside the school. In that meeting, the director of schools, board members, and school administrators are all collected in one room; and even if you never say a word, your face will be seen. That can go a long way later on if you have an interview. The administrator will be able to connect with you, and recognize you as someone who is obviously willing to be more involved in the profession.
Find Leadership Opportunities
Another great way to gain experience in how to network is to seek leadership opportunities to boost your knowledge, your resume, and your chances of being known. This could be taking on the role of a team leader at your school, a learning leader for your area, becoming a lead teacher, or leading workshops and in-services where others will attend. Don’t settle for the minimum, but seek extra opportunities to learn more and disclose your enthusiasm for education.
Find an Administrator to be your Mentor
Finally, find a mentor. Join up with an administrator who can share ideas and information. They can help you stay current on trends and policies in your county. In addition, you can use them as a reference on your resume and seek their advice along the way.
Whether you’re visiting the central office, participating in leadership roles, or chatting with your mentor, prioritize being friendly and competent. Dress professionally, even if you are just stopping by to drop something off. In addition, be positive and professional when you speak about education. No one wants a negative influence in a leadership role. You want to put your best foot forward and be recognizable for someone who can get the job done; and learning how to network is the first step.