It is a simple question, to be or not to be; but when did this question become a stigma to how others perceive you? We can all relate to those who share their paths to Higher Education/Student Affairs, however, do we all share the same passion to remain in the field? I think not.
As a field that welcomes all humans (animals, if you so choose) based on their differences, we need to be able to let go of those who choose to leave as well. This emptiness, though complex, tends to provide the institution a chance to restructure themselves and evaluate which changes need to be made to fill those voids. According to Justin Boyle, from the degree360 one-fifth of the US in their 20’s reported enough satisfaction in their careers in order to remain in ones profession (2013, July 15). The US which establishes over 5,000+ Higher Education institutions, will then see an approximate 1,000+ institutions with employees who have enough satisfaction to continue in their respective positions. With such as a statistic, wouldn’t this common occurrence elicit more non-responsive or supportive reactions?
Do not misunderstand, I will also miss the memories with friends, colleagues, and partners, but we need to focus attention on student retention and growth rather than plead for staff/faculty tenure. In some instances, people NEED to leave to grow (students can also be categorized in this…FYI), to experience, to find the purpose that caused the question to leave; and in less common circumstances, people return when the time is right. As stated in Business Insider, one of the 14 most stressful jobs in America is Educational Administrator (2013). It is not a surprise that some people will leave to relax and recharge. Is this inappropriate? Should we question their work ethic? commitment? relationship?
With all these simple questions, this posts true intention is meant to ask, why do people become afraid to question their decision to end one path in order to prepare for a new one, i.e. – Higher Education to [insert profession here] and when were we promoted to judge/accept resignations?
We have all had the thought; when we do, we 1. sweat a little, 2. scan the room, 3. feel guilt for the thought, and 4. ignore it. Add #5 – trust in your own mind and realize this question comes to the surface for a reason; not due to flaws or incompetence but because we dream to be someone else, hope to accomplish more, and become anxious to the resentment once we gaze ahead. In 2014, students change, institutions change, positions change, and those who work with/within the aforementioned also change. If you cannot accept these changes, maybe you are the one who is questioning their career choice?