It’s summer! During this time of year, we have a small window of time for reflection. We have a small window of time to look back over the academic year and to look forward to another. Using this time to review and decide how best to expand your strengths is key. Figuring out how to improve in your career or profession as the new academic year approaches is equally important.
What excites me about my career?
Where are my gifts and talents?
How can I be better?
In what ways can I make a greater impact?
Who do I need to support or guide me?
Consider how you can use the following five keys to be the best you can be, and continue to impact your career and the student affairs profession.
Learn the core principles, history, purpose, mission, and vision of your programs, services, and profession. Enhancing and expanding your knowledge of the field is key to being regarded as a professional with the expertise your organization can’t live without.
Expand your understanding. Constantly read to learn the best practices, standards, and innovation within your career area. As new theories and approaches emerge, you should know about them. Stay connected to your professional association, and read the latest journals, articles, and reputable online news sources.
Apply what you know with persistence and accuracy. Reach for that 90-95%! Be open to and grow from what you don’t know. Be willing to correct the mistakes or missteps you make to refine your talents.
4. Deliver Quality:
Be mindful, and show a sense of intention with individuals you serve, individuals with whom you partner, and individuals with whom you collaborate. Systematize, execute, and be precise in how you implement your initiatives and programs. The way in which you develop positive rapport, partnerships, and relationships with people will impact your success. In addition, continue to be confident and assertive in your strengths, and give back.
5. Celebrate and Evaluate Success:
Have fun with or enjoy what you are doing. Recognize and celebrate your achievements. Gather data to drive decisions, and make the necessary changes. This will contribute to your total quality mindset.
Overall, your career requires a level of investment. Investing in the five keys will allow you to maintain your passion. I was impressed by Krystal Kuehn, Co-founder of New Day Counseling, who said,
“Investing in our own personal growth and development is the most important investment we can ever make. When we work on becoming the best we can be, we have so much more to give to others. We cannot give what we do not have.”
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 Paige Hincker at firstname.lastname@example.org.