The beginning of 2016 brought a time of transition for me and my family. At the end of 2015, my husband and I sold our house. On a step of faith, after a very tumultuous fall semester, I resigned the position I was in working with Fraternity and Sorority Housing at a medium sized public institution in Georgia. I accepted a position working full-time in Fraternity and Sorority Life at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Transition in a lot of cases isn’t easy. Transition in some cases, is tremendously easy. We found ourselves in probably the best position possible. My husband’s work transferred to an office nearby, and I started my new position in January.
My philosophy in Higher Education when it came to departing an institution always relied on three things:
- Always, always, always finish what you start.
- The day you wake up, and you absolutely don’t want to go to work, it’s time to move on.
- Never leave an institution mid-year.
I feel like I managed to break nearly all three of my personal philosophies moving into my new position. For months, I was going to work questioning everything, attempting to make meaning, wondering if what I was doing in Fraternity and Sorority Housing was even making a difference. Moreover, the biggest question that needed answering was – why wasn’t I happy? Thinking about these in hindsight, all the warning signs were there. I was always tired, always sick, and constantly trying to do more, even if it meant giving up my personal thoughts, feelings, emotions, or values. Transition on some level was necessary in order to “find my happy” as I like to call it.
Some might be asking why resigning a position mid-year, especially if it’s one of the things you say you’ll never do, can be a good thing. When you’ve lived for months wondering why you’re still in a job that makes no one happy, it must be good to get out, right? For me, it all circled back to seven years ago and working at the exact same institution, as a graduate student in Housing. I can recall a very distinct conversation with my supervisor at the time. I told him that eventually I wanted to come back there to work, but I wanted to work with Fraternities and Sororities.
Accepting this new position at Embry-Riddle was going to do a few things for me.
– I was going back to an institution I served at over a summer internship. Thus, I was fulfilling a role that I felt led to long before.
– I was taking the next step in my career. I’ve always been a strategic person, so leaving housing all at once didn’t make sense to me. But bridging the gap did. So bridging my years of housing service with a hybrid Fraternity and Sorority position before moving here made logical sense.
-It was giving me an opportunity to begin to work on my work/life balance.
Starting my current position was not only a good thing, it was a GREAT thing! I learned that sometimes you should close a door where things are toxic to find exactly what you are meant to do. We learned that putting health and happiness first, can and will lead to happiness in your work, feeling whole, and making a difference every day, despite the challenges that work provides. We’ve learned that plans are just that… plans. Sometimes you don’t have to have everything or feel like you have it all.
I now go to a job daily that isn’t just a job, it’s a career.
A place where I serve others in an office that puts the needs of our students first, even if it’s not what they want sometimes. My husband started his master’s degree he’d been waiting patiently for. We are now an aunt and uncle to four nieces and nephews that have time to invest in their little lives, helping and watching them grow. We’ve learned to have fun again.
This post is part of our #OneGoodThing series for December. Given the numerous troubling things we have experienced together during the year of 2016, and all of the disagreement, we wanted to prove that 2016 wasn’t all bad. We will hear from #SApros about a memory, experience, or moment that was GOOD that happened to them in 2016. For more info, please see Doug’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Quint Geis on #SAGrad, Life, and Job Searching