Duties Assigned.

by Jena Rock

No, this is not a typo. I did mean to leave out the word “as” in the title.   

We all had to start somewhere on this adventurous rollercoaster ride that is student affairs. Bringing past experiences and successes in from previous institutions or roles is the nature of the game in this field; especially early on in our careers. It gives us credibility for the search committee to know that we can get the job done. Just as beneficial, after onboarding to your new role, is focusing on the duties you are responsible for. This might even mean throwing some of your past experiences and successes out the window.

Hear me out. The point I am highlighting here is the importance of knowing that a process of successfully implementing the duties assigned in one role is not necessarily the same process in another role. For example, let’s say in your new role you will assess learning outcomes. This is perfect! You have written survey questions from workshop curriculum that show the impact of your departments service which can be reported up to the VPSA as a universal language established from a division wide buy-in. In a new role/department/institution, there may not be a division-wide buy-in, or a universal language, or intentionally written workshop curriculum. So, this requires a whole new approach on what assessing learning outcomes truly looks like in this role.

In instances like these, I’ve learned (and continue practicing) the invaluable approach of going back to my job description as a guide to what is in my scope of influence. Leaning on the available resources that help me gain more information about local and national trends on the subject can help inform conversation within my scope of work. Trying to establish an institution-wide buy-in on the initiatives of our department is most-likely not a part of my job responsibilities in the first three months of my new role as a #SApro in their first years of the practice. Doing your assigned work #LikeABoss shows more capability than trying to do your bosses work.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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