I Believe in Preparing My Roll for My Successor!

by Jenni Kraft

I believe in preparing my current roll for my successor. I recall my first day of my first “job” as a graduate assistant when my predecessor walked me through her binder that described my new job. After a few weeks in my assistantship, I hardly needed to reference it, but it was nice to have it in any case. As I began to fully understand my role and learned things that had changed (staffing, duties, technologies), I made sure that I took the time to update the binder. As my second year crept up on me, I realized that I would need to assist with the transition of my replacement and I wanted that to be a success. I did my very best to update the manual months before I had a job and even came up with a training plan for my replacement. Then she was hired.

I believe in making people feel welcome! She was an enthusiastic and bright woman who came in ready to learn as much as she could from me. I made sure to take time to have us get to know one another rather than just throwing information at her. We both knew that I was not going to be around in person for her to ask questions, but I wanted her to feel like we had a connection and that she could feel comfortable speaking with me, even outside of this training. After going over everything possible (and assuring her that I knew it was a lot of information to take in), I affirmed her being selected for the position and genuinely invited her to contact me for any questions (which she has taken me up on).

Then it was time for me to transition into my own new job: One that had just been re-designed and had no instruction manual. From my first day I, like most, took time to absorb as much information about my role as possible. However, instead of just taking it in for me, I began a document of instructions on what it meant to succeed in my role and how to do it. I’ve taken notes on important meetings, tasks, purchases, faculty/staff to meet, how things work, what happens when, and much more. Now I am a year and a half into my first professional roll and I am still constantly finding new ways to better understand it and prepare my role for my successor. I’m not sure when I’ll be leaving my role just yet. It could be in a year or five years. However, I do know that whoever takes over after me will be able to see my vision of the role and have a smooth transition to succeeding as the Assistant Director of Student Life at Austin College :-)

~Jenni with an “I”

Student Affairs - the First Years

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