It’s been two months since I started my new job (sorry I’ve been MIA on #SAchat). It’s been an exciting new adventure to finally be doing what I always wanted to be doing: staff recruitment and development.
When I got the job offer in late October, my partner and I hypothesized what this new change would mean for our family (I have two wonderful young children plus the 2 adults). We strategized the transition. Since the new job was ONLY an hour away, we would move off campus in our current community in Delaware so that the kids could stay in their daycare and my partner would stay close to his work. I would take the train to work for the first 6 months. Then we would buy a house closer to the job, start kindergarten for my first-born, etc.
The plan is in motion now with minor changes. Due to my commute (train takes an hour and 20 minutes on good days), there was no way I could pick up the kids from daycare (which usually close by 6pm). We don’t have extended family in the area, and my former staff (RAs and HDs) are a bit busy with their own lives and don’t have cars or car seats. So, we are keeping the kids with in-home care (i.e. wonderful RAs and HDs). Other than that, the plan is progressing. We are renting a house from a faculty member who is on sabbatical while I commute back and forth.
As we enter month two of this arrangement, we are realizing that purchasing a house may not happen in our timeline. Prior to moving off campus, I had constructed a budget of our anticipated monthly expenses and what we would need to save each month for a healthy down payment. Reality hit us in our first month off-campus with surprise expenses. A big snowstorm snowed us into our house. No longer did I have a maintenance crew to shovel us out, it was me and my handy shovel. When it became apparent after an hour of shoveling that the snow wasn’t moving, we paid a neighbor with a tractor to dig us out. Then the toilet was clogged and we had to pay a plumber. Then we had to get new tires on the car…and the list goes on.
Moving off-campus has been a dream of my partner for a while. For me, I could live on campus forever, depending on the situation (not in a hall, but a house or something like that). Many of us in the residence life field aspire to live off campus. Everyone else does it; our students often move off campus by their junior year and everyone in the world lives “off-campus”. But for those few of us who enjoy the live-in experience and like the convenience and practicality of it all, moving is hard. I’m struggling coming home to one community: my family. Don’t get my wrong – I love them, but I also enjoy the sound and energy of multiple communities living under one roof. I love the opportunity to open my door to instant engagement. I love that campus is our playground and my kids can be exposed to various cultures and experiences. I love the services provided with living on campus, and I love the opportunity to make meaningful relationships with students at all hours of the day.
So, my transition to the new job is going well, now I’m an 8—5’er. I get up, work out, get the train into work (an hour and 20 minutes), work, get the train back home (another hour and 20 minutes), and get home to my family in time for dinner and bedtime. I’m exhausted (and that’s saying a lot for someone known as the energizer bunny). I have to aggressively manage two different lives: the one at work and the one at home. It’s not what I was expecting to deal with as I transitioned to a new job, but I’m making it work.
What’s your story on new job transition?
Licinia “Lulu” Barrueco Kaliher is Assistant Director for Staff Development and Recruitment, Temple University Office of Residential Life