As student affairs professionals, we work in a uniquely fulfilling field. Fulfillment is in growth, and not only in your own growth, but in the growth of others.
Earlier this week, a student walked into our business career center and announced, loudly, “I JUST LANDED MY DREAM JOB!” I had never worked with this student, nor had I met him before. Yet, my skin rose as he celebrated with his career advisor. This, I thought, is precisely why we do what we do.
Accomplishments in the career services world may look different than those in other areas of student affairs. Oftentimes, our measurements of growth, success, and accomplishments are concrete. A student lands an internship or job or gets into the graduate school of his or her dreams and we can celebrate. In an ideal world, we would see every student find the perfect opportunity and continue along a path of happiness and professional development. Of course, what’s ideal is not necessarily reality.
As a career advisor, I often ask students about their interests and how to incorporate those into internships, jobs, and a work setting. Do you want to work with people? Do you like working with computers? What is most important to you?
You will forever hear education professionals remind others (and one another) that they don’t do their work for the money. We are in a unique profession that is driven by learning, growth, development, and an energetic, innovative world. We love what we do, particularly when we see the fruits of our work in the growth of our students. We watch them learn and mature and we eventually wish them the best as they take a new path following their time with us.
And while chocolate is now 50% off and the roses have begun to wilt, keep the spirit of Valentine’s Day and take the opportunity to remind yourself of your chosen career path and all the things you love about your job. Remind yourself why you choose your industry and your position. Remind yourself why you do what you do, and why you have chosen to do it in the setting that you have. Thank a colleague, thank a student, thank those who have made your work fulfilling and worthy. Love yourself and love your work.
What do you love most about your job? What gets you fired up and ready to face each new day?