I’ve been very fortunate over the course of my career to have amazing supervisors and family support to pursue my career at full speed. I have both sought out new opportunities and have been extended exciting offers. I currently find myself beginning my fifth year in my office with a new title, new responsibilities, and supervising two professional staff members. In my civic life I am a member of the local school board. In my personal life I am balancing my own family (partner, son, beagle, and son number two due to arrive in a few weeks) as well as coordinating care for my mother who recently went through a medical ordeal. Like so many of you, I live a very full life and feel extremely blessed for these opportunities and for these amazing people I have around me.
However, as I see my life and work moving forward, I feel as if I have reached a tipping point. It is now time for me to start saying no and stepping back. I would never consider myself a perfectionist, but rather someone who takes their responsibilities very seriously (responsibility is one of my top 5 strengths) and, as such, it is getting increasingly difficult for me to manage all of my responsibilities. At the beginning of this month I began to look over my email, to do list, etc and realized that I needed to start pulling back. I’ve started stepping back from current commitments I know I cannot complete to the best of my ability. I have started saying no thank you to opportunities that just do not fit into my life right now. It has not been easy, but I know that my work and my family and my self are all the better for it.
I’m sharing this experience because I know there are plenty of student affairs folks who have already encountered this point in their career, as well as those who will soon, or perhaps some are even riding along in this raft with me currently. Many of us enter this field with a desire to help and serve and it can be a difficult process to step back and say no. However, as we are beginning a new academic year, I hope all of us will more carefully consider our current commitments as well as new opportunities. Ensure that you are doing what is manageable and whatever makes the most sense for you and your life. Best wishes for the 15/16 year!
With the start of another year right around the corner, #SACareer focuses this month’s posts on Self Care. Nestle in with a cup of tea and enjoy some motivational words to get you in a positive frame of mind for the 2015-2016 year.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Cristina Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.