As a LEE member, we know you’ve got a passion for creating environments where all children can achieve their dreams—and chances are you want your professional work to reflect that. But how do you land the right role? Here are four ways to kickstart your career in educational equity:
Build reciprocal relationships. We all know how important networking is. Instead of only looking for what others can do for you, for every “ask” you make, offer up a “give.” Working collectively is one of the best ways to bring about change, and when you lend someone your support, they’ll be more likely to be there supporting you when you need it. Attend a LEE event in your area or browse the member directory to connect with like-minded individuals.
Get experience. The career catch-22: getting a job is tough without the right experience, but how do you get experience if you don’t have the right job? When working for free isn’t an option, apply for a fellowship. Most LEE fellowships are paid and last three to six months.They’re a great way to get hands-on experience, build your network, and even try out a new city while making a difference for kids.
Become an expert. Take the initiative to build your knowledge on a topic that interests you. Read all you can about it, and practice what you know through conversations with people in the same field or explaining it to a willing friend. LEE regularly offers trainings and workshops throughout the country that can help you grow and explore your interests. And for additional resources, check out our toolkits on advocacy, community organizing, elected leadership, teacher voice and new ventures.
Be specific about what you want. What matters to you most in a job? Potential impact? Community involvement? Autonomy over your work? Make a list and get specific. Prioritize it, then summarize it in a single sentence that captures the when, where, how and why. For every job you apply to, make sure the role aligns with the top priorities you’ve set out. Take a look at the LEE Job Board for opportunities in the education policy and advocacy space.
At LEE, we’re driven to support your professional growth in advocacy, organizing, policy and elected leadership—because we believe that when our members are organized and reach positions of leadership, they’ll serve as a transformative force for students, communities and the broader movement for educational equity.
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Anything else LEE can do to help you take the next step in your professional development? We’d love to hear. Drop us a line with any questions or feedback you may have.