Finding Work In Unexpected Places: Glenn Smith’s Job Search Story

Sometimes, the connection that leads to your dream job comes from an unexpected direction. For Glenn Smith, it was a happenstance referral from his financial advisor. Learn how Glenn used this connection to network his way into a plum job in higher education.

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I have spent more than 30 years working in higher education as a student affairs educator. I have served at every level including director, dean, vice provost, and vice president and have supervised student affairs administration, enrollment management, and intercollegiate athletics.

I have recently taken a position as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the National University for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

How long did it take you to find this job?

About six months.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

After utilizing the usual job-related publications in the profession, I found out about this position, almost by accident, as the result of an unrelated network.

My financial planner happened to also advise the outgoing incumbent in the position. He mentioned me as a possible replacement and made an introduction.

I met the then-Dean for coffee. It was a good fit and rest is history. After six months of discussions, the formal hiring process took less than two weeks.

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

The most challenging aspects of my search had to do with trying to stay in the Portland area and getting a job that was a fit in my career path. Higher education job openings are scarce, especially at the senior level.

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I also struggled with being in the last 8-10 years of my career. Many organizations seemed to value my depth of experience and competence–but perhaps wanted these assets in a younger person.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Be persistent. Apply for something every day and keep up with your networking. Make sure you have a support system to both assist and challenge you, as your job search journey will be both exciting and discouraging.

Why do you love your job?

I get to work with students every day. Students are people who are on a wonderful path of discovery and I am privileged to be one of the guides on the journey. This has always allowed me to understand that my “job” is really more of a calling.

Want to learn more about Glenn? Connect with him on LinkedIn!