Many years (ok, decades) ago, whist an impoverished undergraduate, I had my heart set on a holiday job in my local independent book shop. I’d always loved browsing in there, and even blew a premium bond win as a ten year old on a pile of books from its sacred shelves. A job there, I thought, would be perfect for me. So, in the absence of a vacancy, I sent in my CV with a covering letter that basically said give me a job. Please. A few weeks later I had a call from the owner saying that he liked my handwriting and he wanted me to start work on the first day of my next holiday. No need for interview.
It was a powerful lesson that has served me well. If you know what you want, sometimes you just have to ask, much like Nina Mufleh did with Airbnb. Keen to work with the company, she tried emails and job ads but had no luck until she wrote a “future me” CV.
A “future me” CV doesn’t focus on past achievements. In this age when such information can be readily logged with sites such as LinkedIn (and Eteach?), there is little need for duplication. Rather, Mufleh used her CV to detail her knowledge of the travel industry and her detailed, well-researched ideas on what she thought Airbnb should do next.
It’s an inspiring idea. Just think how much more a school would be able to find out about you and your suitability for a job if you told them about how your knowledge and aspirations for the future might positively impact the school.
You know who you are now. You know what you have achieved and may have a strong idea of what you are capable of beyond where you are now. You may also know what your goals are and the kind of teacher you could be given the right circumstances. So why not craft a “future me” CV?
Some ideas to get your thinking:
– Do you have particular insights about how teachers might best support their wellbeing? Can you bring these ideas into a cohesive whole for a new school? Or even your existing school?
– Can you link your teaching and learning to wider narratives on how children learn, and how they can best be supported through their school careers?
– Do you have an existing particular research interest? Where do you want to take that interest?
– What aspect of education interests you the most? You may have notched up several years at the IWB-face, but if you were to really specialise your skills and knowledge, what would your area of focus be? Assessment? SEND? Play? Spirituality? Skills? Knowledge? Something subject-specific? The possibilities are broad and the benefits to be gained from further developing a specialist interest can be immense. What direction do you want to go in? Why?
– Can you see ways in which you could collaborate with local industry or higher education institutions in order to reach your aims?
– Do you have a strong interest in developing your management skills? What circumstances do you need in order to achieve that?
– Where do you want your learning journey to take you?
If nothing else, such an exercise helps you to clarify precisely the direction you want to take. It’s about focus, finding out what’s out there for you, and experimenting with possibilities. You may not get what you want, naturally. But that’s absolutely no reason not to ask!
Inspired by bagging myself the holiday job of my dreams, I’ve tried that tactic many times since and it has never let me down. While I’m yet to take it to the kind of level that Nina Mufleh did with Airbnb, I can’t say I’m not inspired!
About the author
After graduating with a degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading, Elizabeth Holmes completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education, University of London. She then taught humanities and social sciences in schools in London, Oxfordshire and West Sussex, where she ran the history department in a challenging comprehensive. Elizabeth specialises in education but also writes on many other issues and themes. As well as her regular blogs for eTeach and FEjobs, her books have been published by a variety of publishers and translated around the world.