I have been wanting to blog about this for some time, now that I am about three months into my new job. It truly has been a whirlwind of experiences since graduating in May. This summer has been such a growing experience for me and I am so thankful to be able to experience it all. I have kept a journal of thoughts throughout this time and it really has helped me collect my thoughts on what I want to say on the transition period from a Student Affairs graduate student to becoming a Student Affairs professional. I am going to hit five key points that I think really have impacted my perspective on transitioning:
Good Things Take Time, It Does Not Happen Over Night:
For me personally, I tend to plan a lot, which is not a bad thing. But when it comes to things like transitioning, you have to learn to enjoy the ride. I knew this was going to be a huge transition for me – I was offered a position in Texas and I am from Indiana. I wanted something completely different and outside of my comfort zone and I know this was definitely something I needed and wanted to do. Learning to accept that this would not be what I am used to, and learning to be okay with that, took me a lot of time to process, prepare, and mentally accept.
Change Is Good:
You learn a lot about yourself when you are in unfamiliar territory. The process of leaving your old home, letting go of things, and gaining new things has been so refreshing. Moving so far away from home I purged a lot of things that I no longer needed. At one point, I was like “Did I really need half of these things in graduate school?” Probably not. You live and you learn. I am also learning what I need as a professional is a lot different than my needs in graduate school.
Write Things Down and Process:
I have been keeping a journal of what I am learning throughout meetings, how my days went, and what I feel I can work on. For my mental health it has been such a great thing to do. I also remember a lot more and it keeps me focused throughout my work week. For me, I analyze my thoughts as well. Honestly getting up and commuting to work was an adjustment for me. Getting used to the different time zone, the southern heat, and overall new area took some time. I found what works for me in the mornings where I feel good about my morning commute to work.
Network, Network, and Network:
Being the new person, this is a great time to get to know others. Get involved, meet people in other departments, and enjoy being the new person while you can. The first year, I am learning, is definitely about getting acclimated and being able to learn your job. It is so rewarding to work with very supportive faculty and staff members. Get to know them; they all have been there and are willing to help. I have also been getting to know my new location very well. Working out at different gym areas, seeing what things are available nearby, and just continuing to get acclimated. I have also enjoyed having fellow young professionals transitioning into their roles with me along the way. It has been refreshing to get to know colleagues who are going through similar experiences in their professional careers.
Observe and Learn As Much As You Can:
Coming from the Midwest to the South has been a culture shock to say the least — but in a very good way. I usually like to get involved with things right away, but I am learning to just learn the campus culture, get to know my students/colleagues, and enjoy the ride. It has been so refreshing to be in an unfamiliar space. You learn so much about yourself, what your strengths are, and the things you need to learn and grow from.
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”-Lao Tzu
> BONUS <
Podcast With Dave Kerpen on Authenticity/ Branding on Social Media