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Five lessons I learned with my career coach

  • Ateira Griffin

One day I realized I was ready.

Ready for new challenges. Ready to use what I’d learned in the classroom to make change beyond my current work. Ready for a seat at the table. I decided I was ready to make an impact in education policy and advocacy in a role I was passionate about.

But after I sat down to dust off my resume and start sending out applications, other thoughts crossed my mind. Um . . . what exactly am I looking for? What am I even qualified for? 

What is MY leadership brand?

I realized I wasn’t quite clear on what job was right for me, or what my approach should be. So I enlisted the support of one of LEE’s career coaches.

Here is what I discovered with my coach:

1. You are more than your resume. But your resume matters.
Your resume is the first impression a potential employer has of who you are, and what skills you bring to a role. LEE career coaches have experience in policy and advocacy, know the skills employers are looking for and how to highlight them.

2. Be comfortable with the streeeetch.
If you’ve ever encountered a job that sounds very exciting, but you don’t know if you have all the required skills, a career coach can help you figure out how to stretch for those opportunities that are just out of your comfort zone. 

3. Most roles aren’t posted online; they’re found through your network.
LEE members are looking for other LEE members like you to join their organizations. Your coach can help you make connections. 

4. There’s no substitute for interview prep.
When interviewing for a new role, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the interviewer. Your LEE coach will help you prep with practice questions so you can feel confident telling your story. 

5. Having a thought partner really helps!
Lastly, your career coach can help you troubleshoot roadblocks throughout the application and interview process.

Are you ready? If you’re looking for a new role in the next 6 to 12 months, LEE has a coach for you. Take a quick survey to connect with one of our career coaches.

Not sure if you’re ready? That’s OK too. Use the LEE Career Fit Tool to explore different policy and advocacy careers or learn about other opportunities to define your next steps.

Ateira Griffin (Baltimore ’11) is the Executive Director of BOND and the STEM Site Coordinator for DC-CAP.