In November of last year, I wrote a blog post for Student Affairs Women Talk Tech that described my career path in my 15+ years in student affairs. It twisted, it folded back on itself, it took some side journeys, but ultimately, it led me to where I am today – in a position that is a much better fit for me in so many ways. When I wrote this post, it seemed to resonate with many in the student affairs community, and several talked about sharing their own paths, as well. After a suggestion by colleague Lisa Endersby, Monica Fochtman and I decided we should definitely make this a series.
We often are exposed to and encouraged along a single path in student affairs – one that leads straight up the ladder. But the reality is that there are few positions at the top of that ladder – and those positions are just not a fit for everyone. Many of us will end up in one of the positions that branches off that ladder – whether in student affairs or academic affairs. Some of us will step away from the ladder completely, choosing a career outside student affairs. And others will come to the student affairs ladder from an entirely different career tree. Even those that end up at the top of the ladder sometimes take a more winding path.
In order to better understand what it means to have a career in student affairs, we will be taking the month of January to explore the many career paths that our colleagues have taken to be where they are today – whether that’s at the beginning, middle, or end of their career. We hope you’ll find something that resonates with you, that inspires you, that makes you think differently about your own career path in the stories that we share this month.
And don’t forget, this is a chance to reach out and find someone with whom you have something in common, too. If your path looks similar to the path of someone who’s posting about it, reach out and connect with them. We don’t have to be on our separate paths alone.