As the summer transitional period begins, I wanted to write a blog post on one of the most important topics for many SAGrad’s during this time of year: the job search process, known as the SASearch. On May 12th, 2016, I graduated with a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership/Higher Education as a first generational undergraduate and graduate student. That moment of happiness, pride, and accomplishment was the best as I completed my SAGrad experience after two years. During most of my final semester, passing my comps, receiving successful academic marks in my courses, and earning my Masters Degree were three out of four major goals I set to accomplish by graduation. The final goal, earning a full time position in Student Affairs as an SA Pro is still an ongoing goal that I wanted to blog about and connect with fellow graduates on their SASearch experience. This moment inspired my reflection on ways to help Student Affairs members stay positive during all stages of their SA Search with some motivational tips during their SASearch process.
Find Ways To Stay Positive and Focused
During this time, it can be hard to take your mind off thoughts of the future, job placement, and the unknown. Remember to still make “you” time and celebrate your path to success during a developing chapter of your life. Being active in your passions can allow your search to inspire you to expand your options, find new paths within the field, or create future goals that you want to achieve as a full time professional after your search has concluded. In addition to keeping up with your professional success, your mental health is critical towards staying positive. Watch your favorite movie, plan a fun day with friends, or just relax to help take your mind off resumés, cover letters, and future planning. It’s important to find ways to be “on and off” during your search as your mental health and well-being are vitally important parts of your SA searching experience.
Reach Out To Your Support System
The SASearch can be an up and down process of waiting for guidance, making contacts for interviews, or just preparing applications for different areas of student affairs. Remember that during this time of development and life changes, you are not alone and can reach out to people that believe in your success and help to bring out the best in you. From networking within your selective field to listening to you vent, these people play an important role on the path that leads you to “being ok with not being ok during the SAsearch process” during difficult moments. While job searching, it can be difficult to deal with questions such as What’s Next? What Are Your Plans? Where Have You Searched? and more when plans are still in development. During these moments, reach out to friends, family, peers, mentors, and other people who are part of your team to give you a boost in confidence. Some of these members not only play a vital role in helping to make darker days brighter, but they may be able to provide logical alternatives towards solving long term goals. Using your supportive circle to vent or talk to can help motivate you to be your best and encourage you on towards your next step. Just know that you are not alone in this stage and there are people who want to see you succeed and it starts with a positive belief in yourself.
Make A Success List/Planner
During your search, keep a reflection journal of goals you accomplish each day, three things you are grateful for in your life, and a list of tasks you will achieve that week. From productive goals such as applying for additional jobs, editing your resume, and completing life milestones to fun goals such as finishing a series that you have been eyeing for months, traveling to other places in the world, or completing a video game series. These activities can help your confidence for when your search process starts progressing successfully while having fun.
Create Your Personal Mantra For Success
Remember to always root for your success and believe that something will work out. With an endless amount of positive faith, hard work, and self-confidence, the right position will open up as you start this new chapter of your life. Never allow rejection, disappointment, or fears take away from the amazing person you are and the good you can do each day.
(Cover Page for my goal list book with the motivational mantra for my SA Search)
“What’s Meant For You Will Not Pass You”
Best of luck to everyone on their SA Search process and congratulations to everyone starting their new careers and paths towards Student Affairs Professional Roles. Together, we will all find our fit and new positions with a little hard work, patience, grit, and positivity. You got this!