Hello to the wonderful blogging world of student affairs! It's been a little while since I have written, but since I'm in a new part of my #SAPro career I thought I would share the experience. To update ya'll: I have now been in my roll as Assistant Director of Student Engagement Enrichment and Development for 3 years, done lots of great programs with many students I have grown fond and proud of, and (personally) been engaged to a wonderfully caring, smart, and supportive man (#ShoutOut to @Bachaelder)!
These past three years have been filled with great experiences and challenges that have all taught me valuable lessons. However, there will always come a time where a professional begins to think about themselves a little more than just the students. Let's face it, in our roles there will always be great students that will be hard to want to leave, but there will always be more in the next role. I feel like this is where the second transition comes into play. My role, tied into a number of personal interests and transitions (getting married is more work than you initially think) created this desire to really think about if the position fit what I had in mind for the next year. Of course this isn't a decision that can be made quickly, but with great thought and intention.
Around February I began feeling more comfortable with my decision to begin a job search, but I have always been one to be interested in the further of the things I have invested in. I wanted to be sure that who ever would take over my role would not have to start from scratch as I did. So, in addition to updating the manual I began shortly after I started, I knew I had to let my supervisor know so that they could do a well thought out search for my replacement.
The idea of telling your boss you're not coming back next year is extremely frightening... Not so much for your life, but in a "I have grown to respect you so much and don't want to let you down" kind of way. You feel like you are going to hurt the team you have really become friends with all year. Until you begin those conversations you don't know how they will all respond... And that is what is scary. I can tell you that after it has been had, you will feel a sense of relief and you will be more comfortable and confident about your applications.
What happened for me, which I feel is common for the field, is that my supervisor was sad to hear I was leaving, but fully supported me in my job search process; my coworkers, and many campus partners and faculty, have expressed great appreciation for everything I have done and brought to campus; and I have received an outpour of support and encouragement from my friends and family in the full process. Of course I also have many who are in the denial stage and insist I stay, but I am surely moving forward. My contract is up at the end of June and with or without a job, I'll be moving out of the campus housing I have greatly enjoyed and saying goodbye to some great colleagues and friends. I am still in the search process, but as I have told many new professionals, I will wait for the job that will make me (and my fiancé) happy and fulfilled, because I know it will be worth it!
Send me a shout out if you're in this stage too! Advice and openings (in sunny places) are always welcome!
-Jenni with an "I"