Well, I didn't get the job. So the Job Hunt continues! This post isn't going to be about disappointment or frustration, but about ground rules. I recently discovered that not having rules in place works only when the other party plays by similar rules. For example, if a personal rule is to not have raw meat on the bathroom counter, a living situation doesn't work out well when another party uses the bathroom to thaw meat.
During my job search I've placed a few rules upon myself. The following list isn't in any particular order, except for the first one. 1) Only apply to positions that I will enjoy doing. I went to school in order to do my job well and to do something I love. I will continue to search for a position that allows me to fulfill those criteria. 2) Apply to positions in certain locations. I started in the Rochester and Buffalo areas, and have now expanded to Florida and the Virginia/D.C. region. 3) Money. I will not work for less than $30,000 a year for a full-time position. I am well educated, and with that comes student loans and debts which need to be paid. That minimum changes upon location (I did not apply for a position in the Boston area that paid $60,000) which can affect cost of living and other factors.
I found that without considering those three (there are more, but most can fit into those three main ideas) I could apply to hundreds of jobs just in the Buffalo/Rochester area in a matter of 8 months. I've applied to quite a few, but I hope that by keeping my search focused, although still pretty broad, that when I do get offered a position, it will be one I not only thrive at doing, but one I will want to stay at for several years.
There are certain considerations that I don't generally think about, as they don't often come into play. A major one is the "occasional nights and weekends". I currently work any number of nights or weekends in a month, so working a constant schedule with the one night event that I'll know about for several weeks isn't going to bother me. Another is if the position is part of a union or not. So far, by following the three main rules, I've only found one position in which I was interested that was represented by a union. I think the final one is the type of institution. I would much rather work for a public institution, as they generally serve the public good better and they offer services in which I have a professional interest (such a first-generation students, adult students, and veteran/military students). However, I have applied to several (most of my applications are to private institutions) non-public institutions, mostly non-profit, too.