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3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB

*Originally published in NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Students Newsletter

Student affairs work is great. I have always found it interesting, challenging, and rewarding. There are a multitude of job types within our profession that require different skillsets and abilities. As diverse the working world of student affairs is, finding the right job for you can be difficult. A job may seem fantastic on paper but once we start doing it….well we may quickly regret our choice. Conversely, we may agree to a job or project that we think is not ideal and discover that we love it. Six years ago, I would have never considered working with graduate students and yet I now find myself enjoying everything working with that population brings. Moreover, I also enjoy the culture of working in a graduate school and have found it is largely a better fit as it relates to both my professional and work-life needs. I was fortunate to find my optimal fit. To help you find optimal fit on your professional journey, here are three types of fit you need to consider during your career. These fits can help you in your current roles as much as it can during a job search. Continue reading “3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB”

FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES

Have you ever felt like your professional and personal life overlapped in a way that bothered you?  Do your job duties interfere with your ability to have a balanced life (however you define it)? Almost all of us know how we want work and life to interact, but creating the ideal blend in reality can be difficult and frustration.  To aid you in this process, here are four quick tips to help you better define your work-life boundaries.

Continue reading “FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES”

6 Lessons My Car Accident Reminded Me About Work-Life Balance

All I heard was deafening silence.  For a moment my podcast cut out.  I felt an impact on my left side.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw the front of another car tear my front end off.  My eyes followed as I watched my bumper bounce through the intersection.

The podcast broke the silence.

I looked down at the deployed airbag that apparently hit me.  I got out of my beloved Honda Civic for what would be the last time.

Being in a car accident is never any fun.  I spent the initial 24 hours worrying about my deductible, how much I would get for the car (I knew it was a total loss), and what a replacement vehicle would end up costing me.

Eventually, my mind focused away from the business and (most importantly) into the life part of the accident.  Here are six simple work-life questions I was reminded of as a result of being in a car accident.

  • What are you grateful for (and do you practice it)? At the end of the day I was just grateful.  I try and practice gratitude daily but after an accident I really focused on it.  I was grateful for my health, grateful I got to see my family that night, I was even grateful that the accident occurred near my house (vs the middle of a strange road or highway).  The next morning, I woke up as the sun rose over the pond in my yard and I just felt grateful for that moment of beautiful peace.   Although the experience was stressful, gratitude helped center me and even forced a smile out of my occasionally grumpy face.
  • Is your workplace supportive? Whether it be a car accident, illness, or other household emergency, having a supportive and flexible work environment has a value that goes beyond dollars and cents. Having enough sick/personal days to bridge any time off is helpful as is a system that allows you to work from home, shift hours, and generally make any reasonable accommodations needed.   Above all else, the response you want to hear is “Take care of yourself and we will find a way to work it all out.”

Continue reading “6 Lessons My Car Accident Reminded Me About Work-Life Balance”

3 Work-Life Tips For Student Affairs Professionals to Start the Academic Year

Hooray! It’s August/September and the students are coming back to campus and that means for those of us in student affairs, we are as the French would say, “le busy.”

Most of us expect this time of year to be filled with orientations, welcome, and all sorts of amazing programs. We expect ourselves to be busy this time of year (which is good) but in that hustle and bustle we have to make sure we don’t continue or repeat negative work-life habits.

To help ensure you are at optimum work-life, here are 3 simple tips for you to consider as you begin the academic year.

Continue reading “3 Work-Life Tips For Student Affairs Professionals to Start the Academic Year”

STOP COMPLAINING! The 1 Action Step You Must Take to Improve Work-Life Balance

I was recently at a conference when I overheard someone say “There is no work-life balance in this profession. People need to accept it.”

I took a few deep breaths as statements like this to me are complete bunk and do nothing more than reinforce a work-life culture that is negative and toxic. As I chewed on this sentiment later that night, I thought that instead of just complaining about individuals who spout this rhetoric, that I would offer one simple action step you can take to improve your work-life balance. Here it is.

Continue reading “STOP COMPLAINING! The 1 Action Step You Must Take to Improve Work-Life Balance”

It’s Time to Declare YOUR Work-Life Independence

As someone with ties to both Canada and the United States the July 1st – July 4th date range which marks the independence of both North American nations is an awesome time for me. Awesome because I have double the reason to celebrate: double the treats, double the barbecues (I always do something for Canada day on July 1st, even if I am alone), and of course the fireworks….which can be endless thanks to Facebook live.

Although we celebrate the independence of our respective nations, I started to think: at what point will you declare your work-life independence?

Continue reading “It’s Time to Declare YOUR Work-Life Independence”

3 Simple Work-Life Lessons I Was Reminded of While on Vacation

My family and I just finished a lovely vacation in Traverse City, Michigan. It was a much needed break from the grind and for us marked a commitment to taking more vacation/family time. Over the course of our vacation, I was reminded of 3 work-life lessons that are an essential practice if we want to avoid burnout and enhance our overall life-satisfaction. They are:

1) It’s ok to put work away. For the better part of a week I turned everything off and focused on the family. I had intended to finish writing my first book The Two Year Old’s Guide to Work-Life Balance” but quickly opted to just enjoy the moments with the family, Continue reading “3 Simple Work-Life Lessons I Was Reminded of While on Vacation”