Job Happiness Continued

Did all the job searchers survive the placement exchanges: OPE, TPE, ACPA?

My last post was geared towards helping graduate students get a job that would encourage professional and personal growth, as well as enhance their happiness.

As I have a mini obsession with the concept of happiness. I have been reflecting on my own search process and how I determined where I would be most happy.

After some quick digging I found my infamous job search excel sheet. No one has EVER seen this excel sheet, so feel honored to be privy to such important information. Please. Not really, but just a little.

This document has everything from contact information to interview dates and times, from salary to initial reactions during my interview. But what intrigues me most is my rating scale. I have an affinity to use my left-brain (probably why I ended up at Mines), and so I devised five categories and rated them from zero to one. Decimals were absolutely acceptable.

These were my 5 categories:
  • Do I get to supervise a graduate student? (This was apparently very important to me then.) 
  • Will I be personally happy? (Are friends or family in the area?) 
  • Do I like the location? (Are there fun things to do? Is it sunny?) 
  • How is my supervisor? (Would s/he be focused on helping me be a better professional? Would s/he provide new opportunities? Would s/he be flexible?) 
  • Is the department a good fit? (Would I work well with colleagues? Do I like how things are run?  

These numerical values actually helped me understand institutions I was really leaning towards.

Out of 5 possible points, Mines scored a 4.4. There were only a few above, but quite a few below.

  • Do I get to supervise a graduate student? (.8) I get to supervise 5 undergraduate Hall Directors and help them supervise their 21 RAs. Close enough. 
  • Will I be personally happy? (.8) I didn’t have any family, and only a small handful of friends in the region, but it was only a hop, skip, and a jump from Arizona (home) and I liked the people I would work with, so good enough. 
  • Do I like the location? (1) I remember being so in love with Golden, Colorado the first time I visited. The hiking and running trails were enticing. And the small town feel, coupled with the close vicinity to metropolitan Denver was perfect. 
  • How is my supervisor? (1) Awesome. Hands down. Awesome. 
  • Is the department a good fit? (.8) Smaller, not exactly what I was used to, but it seemed like it would be good. I think I was mostly concerned about not having set professional development funds. Now I know that was silly. We only must ask and we receive. 
These were my first impressions written in my excel:
great professionals, small department, intelligent student population; great feel

Ultimately, I think I picked well.
So I ask again: What makes you happy?
Maybe it’s a few of the same things I chose to evaluate my experience. Maybe you have others. Maybe you think a numerical evaluation of your next career move is dumb. That’s okay with me. As long as you find a way to make a decision that will result in your happiness.

I know too many people who are not happy with their jobs. Don’t be one of them!!

Katie Schmalzel
@katieschmalzel

Student Affairs - the First Years

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be afraid! We love to hear from our readers!