It does not matter if you are a graduate student or a professional of 30 years, these tips are meant to be taken with a grain of salt and ultimately assist you in maximizing your success throughout your #SAjourney.
#SAhack 1: Break Up With Your Paradigm
You may have been with your professional paradigm for a while now. Maybe it has been a few years and things between you two are going great. Your paradigm has brought a lot of excitement into your world. That, you can thank it for. Unfortunately, the buck stops here. A paradigm is a great way to gain direction and motivate yourself, but it is so very important to be flexible with how your #SAjourney truly unfolds. Life happens and sometimes we end up working in cities we never even imagined stepping foot in, sometimes office cultures transition or your role goes through a metamorphosis, and once in a while, after a bit of reflection, our goals become entirely anew. “Bloom where you are planted,” they say. That sounds like a genuine relationship with your future, I say.
#SAhack 2: Ignore the FOMO
“Fear Of Missing Out,” that is. I am talking to you, new #SAgrads and #SApros. The best piece of advice I received in my graduate career was from a second year at the time, who demanded we learn how to say “no” to social events or additional leadership roles when life gets too overwhelming. Of course, we strive to be involved and connected (we ARE student affairs people, anyway), but the work-life struggle is real and it is in your best interest to find time for yourself. I am not saying you should say “no” to everything that pops up, but you should absolutely not feel bad when you choose your wellness over anything else. You must be in a healthy state of mind to positively impact those around you.
#SAhack 3: Embrace Uncertainty
If you are like me, you are probably a planner. A “Gold” on the True Colors Inventory, perhaps. I will admit being a planner has gotten me far in many aspects of life (yes, my office’s workshops for next semester are already set), but I am constantly placed in a boxing ring with what used to be my number one enemy, “flexibility.” As you are thinking to yourself, “struggling with flexibility is probably super difficult for a #SApro,” I will tell you first-hand… you’re right. Flexibility is basically a synonym for programming. Although a planner’s heart and soul may wish to obtain this trait, it can be as difficult as figuring out what your “other duties as assigned” will be for the week will be. As a new #SApro, I can give you “planning people” my best advice: embrace uncertainty. Get involved with opportunities that make you uncomfortable and reflect on them. Teach a course, assist a leadership organization, or volunteer with an office you know little about. I promise you, if you take this chance with flexibility now, it will be no match for you in the future.
#SAhack 4: Find Your New “Thing”
Feeling connected with your office family is one of the most essential components to your professional success. Your relationship with your work should be tended to daily, as this is an investment in our field as well as in yourself. Once you feel you have your feet firmly in the ground, DO NOT SETTLE. At this point, it is time to find a new piece of your identity. This identity can be discovered on the grounds of your campus, but it is important to be open to organizations and opportunities within your community as well. Connect with friends and mentors, see what your city has in store for you. Consider a gym membership, a professional organization, a service group, or anything else that sparks your interest. Bring this world into your work and see how quickly your resources and perspective on life expand.
#SAhack 5: Make Your Own #SAhack
Don’t just follow my tips— build your own collection of #SAhacks and spread the word. Little gems like these are meant to be shared.