What's Your Plan

If you would have asked me what my five year plan was four years ago, I would have told you that I would be working in Higher Education as a Residence Director. Now four years later, I am in Higher Education and working as a Residence Director. How’s that for excitement? While this plan was very clear to me then, my new five year plan needs some work. If you asked me where I saw myself in the next five years you would be able see and hear the uncertainty. At this point in my life I feel like there are too many uncertainties and life decisions that could be made in the next few years. For example, if I met someone that I wanted to share my life with. Depending on their needs and career, my plan could be completely altered. I am not saying that I would change my path or quit my job for someone else, but these are things that can possibly influence my future. Even without considering the idea of sharing my life with someone else, what is my next move in the field of Student Affairs? How long do I want to work in Residence Life and be a live-in employee? No one talks about how to come up with a new five year plan after you’ve accomplished your first one.

Unfortunately, this post is not going to answer that last statement. I am still trying to figure out what my next move is and where I see myself going in Higher Education. To be honest, I am hoping to just find opportunities as I go and when I start job searching again. Therefore, I am thinking instead of developing a five year plan I need to develop a skill plan. This will allow for more flexibility while deciding where I am going to go next. This skill plan is going to involve covering gaps and gaining experiences that I do not have. For example, I have not planned RA training or presented at a conference professionally. Both of these tasks involve skills and knowledge that I would gain and be able to take with me wherever I end up next. Another skill that I would like to work on is my productivity. I have thought about structuring my day in a way that includes things that need to be completed. This might mean only checking my email at specific times throughout the day or closing my door to be able to focus on a task. While I search for new skills to develop, I am going to take advantage of any professional development opportunities that I can find on or off campus.

How do you develop yourself professionally? Have you made a new five year plan? How did you discover your new plan? What skills do you think are important to attain in Higher Education?

Katie LaSota

Student Affairs - the First Years

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