Welp, I guess this is it!
My last post for the year.
Not sure if it’s overdone but I’m doing a final list, and I don’t care 🙂 I want to go out with a list.
As I’ve transitioned from #SAgrad/#SAintern to #SApro, I’ve definitely learned some things along the way.
Please see below for my list of 12 (Get it? One for each month I blogged?) Quick Things I Learned In The Past Year (And You Can, Too!) That Have Something To Do With Being An Emerging SA Pro But Also With Life In General… In No Particular Order… Actually, This Is The Order In Which They Came To Mind…
1.Nothing is permanent. Everything is fluid! Your opinions may (probably WILL) change over the course of time. So will your responsibilities, your confidence, your abilities, your fears, your worries, and so on! But so will issues on your campus, and the students you work with, and the news, and politics, and society. Change, evolution, growth is good. Usually. Stay informed, be prepared, and expect the change!
2.Don’t underestimate the power of relationships. It really is your character and connections that can make the tiniest (or even BIGGEST) difference in work and in life. Which brings me to #3…
3.There is no such thing as a typical job search. I started by looking all over the east coast, flying out to interview in Philly immediately after I finished finals and, after everything, ended up exactly where I started: At the institution at which I was doing an internship. (Because of my relationship with my supervisors, who really pulled for me.) In a year I’ll be on the search again, and who knows how that will look!
4.The transition into pro doesn’t end. Every day I learn something new, be it about myself, my institution, my office, my professionalism, my coworkers, my students, my job. And when I start my next job, I’ll transition there! Like change in #1, growth is good. You should strive for continuous transition, growth, and development as a professional.
5. Advocate for yourself. Ask questions. Follow up. Pester, if need be. Especially if you’ve been told something is going to happen a certain way or by a certain date (or if you’re not told at all!) – get what you deserve, what you need, what you expect. KNOW what you deserve, need, expect.
6.Take care of yourself! Chances are your job comes with benefits and that those benefits include vacation time. And sick time. Especially sick time. Use it. You’re allowed to. Take vacation. You need to. Take walks. Get away from your desk. Joke with coworkers. Have lunch. Take a personal day. Call out when you have an unbearable sunburn, or leave early when your brain just needs a reset. You need to do it.
7.Communicate. To your bosses. To your coworkers. To your partners. To your friends. Kind of goes with all the above numbers, too. Communicate about what you are confused about, what you need, what you need help with, where you’re struggling; communicate your successes! what you’re proud of! Just talk. That also means listen.
8. Bring your own lunch to work. Stop buying lunch every day. It’s expensive. and you’ve got student loans to pay back! (Well, I do!)
9.Show gratitude. Shouldn’t need more explanation.
10. Life is full of pleasant surprises. Whether you believe in fate or not, or whatever. Surprises happen and come out of nowhere. Your job may come out of nowhere. Your partner may come out of nowhere (Twitter, perhaps!). Opportunity may come out of nowhere. Trust, reward, recognition, free lunch, thank you notes, friendship – it all can come as a surprise. Embrace it. And don’t expect it, necessarily. That said…
11. Work hard. Sometimes those surprises are a result of nothing. Sometimes those surprises are a result of hard work and good relationships. Sometimes those surprises are a result of time management, enthusiasm, and a lot of elbow grease. Either way, work hard. Make an effort. People (bosses, coworkers) know it when you do, and they certainly know it when you don’t. You’ll feel much better about yourself, and you’ll have more pride in yourself and your work knowing that you put in as much as you could.
12. Be positive. My old stand-by. Positivity breeds positivity. Attitude is contagious. I firmly believe that more than anything. At the very least, you will be remembered for having a can-do attitude – Speaking from experience, positivity stands out more than one might think.
Of course, there’s more to learn. And there’s more that I did learn. This isn’t a heavy list, or a super philosophical or lecture-y or preachy list. Let’s be real: I’m a young, brand new professional. I don’t know much. But this is where I’m starting and I think it’s a good list for anyone to digest, especially at the beginning of their journey. It’s easy to forget the little things.
So, to those of you who followed, whether you read one of my posts or all of them – Thank you! I hope you got something from it, even if that’s just a little entertainment.
Thanks to the Student Affairs Collective for having me! I hope to write again for you all soon!
Best of luck and learning to all the Emerging Student Affairs Pros out there! 🙂
**Shameless plug: Keep an eye out for me next summer when this emerging SA Pro continues to emerge and starts looking for her next pro position 😉
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Meagan, Karyn, Michael, and Alice, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SA grad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.