Hey readers, it’s been awhile! My last #JobHunt entry was about re-entering the job search: handling the rejection of round one and keeping your spirits up for round two. I am happy to say that this is the last blog I will ever write that can be tagged with “#JobHunt,” as I have officially accepted my first full-time position!
I feel like I need to quote the Grateful Dead here – “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” What started last January with the first postings showing up on the OPE and TPE websites has finally ended in early June with a job offer and an acceptance.
And I couldn’t be happier. I found a position that, although it’s not in my top choice for geographic area, is probably a better fit for me than anything I applied for in round one. It just took me five months of interviews, rejections, campus visits, phone calls, parking lot pep talks, and intense one-on-one time with HigherEdJobs to realize what I was looking for and how to get it.
I found a position that is half Residence Life and half Student Activities, which is perfect for my already varied background in Student Affairs. I get to work with a variety of students in a lot of different ways. I’ve met some of my future coworkers, and that was a major part of my thought process when making the decision: Could I see myself hanging out with these people? That’s very important to me when I realize I’ll be moving over 1000 miles away from home.
My biggest piece of advice to those who will be job hunting next year: Use your resources! There are so many people in the field willing to help out, by looking over a resume, sharing a job posting, helping your formulate answers to common questions, and sending you funny text messages when you visit campuses to keep you calm. Not just professionals – some of your biggest support will come from other grad students who are also out searching. You’re all in the same boat, and it’s nice to know you’re not out in the job search sea alone! Plus, the thought of sharing a high-five when you all connect at a conference is a great motivator.
(And if you ever get the chance to blog about your experiences – whether for a website or just for yourself – do it! It’s a nice way to think through a lot of things related to the job search, without having to actually search.)
I talked a lot in my first entry about finding the perfect job, but that even working on a tropical island means having to deal with some jellyfish. I know there will probably be some jellyfish to deal with in my first year, but I’m looking forward to getting started in my new position. There’s a lot to learn, and I’m excited to take all my knowledge and experience from grad school and see how it works in the real world. It may not be a tropical paradise, but I’m looking forward to a lot of sunny days!
Though this is my last entry in the #JobHunt series, don’t rule out me returning now and then to blog about my first year as a professional in the field. I’m sure there are many more stories, revelations, and interesting tales to come. To everyone who has followed along my job search from the beginning – thank you! I really couldn’t have done it without all the kind words and supportive messages! Thank you!
Shannon Healy is a new student affairs professional.
(Editor’s note: I’d say more, but she forgot to tell me where! But you will definitely hear more from her in the future, as I do hope to have her blog about her first year as a professional. In the meantime, I am sure she’ll eventually tell her vast Twitter following. Or maybe she could just post a comment below.)