Tag Archives: first job

Where Are They Now?

One book that I have been meaning to read is Job One. Job One follows a group of SA Grads AFTER graduation. Kind of like this blog does…except. It only follows me. While this book is nearly ten years old, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on where my classmates now are in their careers.

A lot of my classmates are in the same boat as me – they found jobs somewhere around graduation, started, and they are still there. I keep seeing a ton of Facebook statuses about everybody hitting their one year mark. For those individuals not in ResLife, I see a LOT of apartment searching right now. Why? People quickly signed leases since they NEEDED to move and now that they know they are staying longer, they are looking for a nicer place or they are moving in with friends they’ve made.

Two classmates went back to school. Well, one just kept on trucking and started doctoral classes WEEKS after we graduated. The other wound up getting a job at a school with a doctoral program and enrolled after she finished her first year. While another degree isn’t on my agenda anytime soon, I am very proud of these two for continuing.

I have a few classmates that did not hit their one year mark for a variety of reasons. All but one finished out the academic year at their institutions but have recently started at their new jobs. Their reasons for moving included wanting to be closer to significant others and family. One got a job at Grad School State – although in a different department than where she worked while we attended school. And the one who didn’t make it through a school year? He had some MAJOR life changes. Shortly before Thanksgiving, his wife was offered a job on the other side of the country. They could not turn down this offer, she makes a LOT more than he does. His wife moved out before Christmas and he followed in January. He was going to start looking for jobs but then they found out that she’s expecting! He’s decided that he’s going to be a stay at home dad once the little one arrives this fall, so finding a job for just a few months didn’t make sense.

There were some people that didn’t get job offers last summer. One just kept doing temp jobs at Grad School State before getting offered a job at a school a few hours away. Another moved to a pretty remote area of the country with her fiance where there really aren’t a lot of job opportunities. A third wound up with a job offer sometime last fall – but not in Student Affairs. He took it and he enjoys what he’s doing and he definitely applies the things he learned in our program, just to a different set of people.

I really want to get my hands on this book. I’m interested to see how my classmates compare to the students in the book!

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TBT – Disclosing WHAT?!

I landed my first full time job when I was just eighteen. It was only for the summer, but still, I thought I was pretty cool…until the night before my first day when I remembered that I DO NOT eat like a normal human being. I have all sorts of health issues that make the “traditional” three meals a day life impractical. Suddenly, the simple idea of only being able to eat one large meal in the middle of the day at a cafeteria became this giant obstacle. But, I decided to suck it up and even thought that I would be able to “train” my body.

The first day, I  didn’t eat breakfast. Why? I can’t. If I put ANYTHING into my body in the morning, I get sick within an hour. But Author, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Surely there must be something you can eat! Nope, sorry, I know my body better than you do. I seriously cannot eat anything. So on that very first day, I shoved a granola bar in my bag and ate it during a bathroom break around 10:30. After that, I was STARVING and barely made it to my lunch break. Okay, so clearly THAT wasn’t going to work.

The second day, I decided to make myself the blandest breakfast ever. I had one scrambled egg (no milk, no cheese) and a piece of toast (no butter) with a glass of water. I ate about twenty minutes before I left my apartment. Everything seemed fine…until I got to work. I wasn’t even able to log into my computer before I ran to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later, I slunk back to my desk, only to have to return to the bathroom ten minutes after that. My boss came to check on me and I told her I wasn’t feeling well, so she sent me home. MY SECOND DAY.

The third day, I decided to pack some snacks and ask my boss to make some accommodations for me (and my digestive tract). Awhile back I posted about disclosing disability-related issues. I don’t know if it was just because this was the first time I was telling somebody that wasn’t a relative or friend or because it was a “bathroom” issue, but I was so embarrassed to have to ask my boss for an accommodation!

I went to work and went to my boss’ office when she arrived. The first thing she did was ask if I was feeling better. Why yes actually, about an hour or two after you sent me home, I was able to leave the confines of my bathroom, much to my roommate’s joy. Thanks for asking! (Note – I did not actually say that.) I explained the reason that I had gotten sick at work was because I had eaten before coming in. “Oh, did you eat something that didn’t agree with you?” No, I just ate. Period. That’s all it takes. I explained that if I ate early in the morning, I get really sick to my stomach but I can’t wait until my lunch break to eat. The only options were for me to either wake up at  4 am so by the time 7:30 rolls around, my stomach feels like accepting gifts of bagels and juice OR for me to be able to bring something and eat at my desk while working. As I was explaining this, I went into crazy girl babble mode and swore to never bring anything that smelled or could make a mess. My boss looked at me like I had eight heads (because I had all my crazy out there) and then said that would be fine. End of conversation.

For the rest of the summer, I brought both my breakfast AND lunch to work. I ate breakfast at my desk around 10:30. It usually consisted of a bagel or some fruit. This made it much easier to wait for lunch and I was happier and more productive person now that I wasn’t starving or dying.

Recently I’ve been watching the show Pramface on Hulu. It’s a British sitcom about teen parents. In one episode, the young mom gets a job at an office and has to sit at the front desk. Since she JUST had her baby, she needed to go pump at some point during the day, but was afraid to do so because she had not told her supervisor that she was a mom and didn’t want to be caught. It turns into a funny, although totally embarrassing situation, but she becomes MUCH closer with her supervisor after her supervisor finds out that she is a young mother.

What does that have to do with anything? It brings me to the main point of this post. If you need something, don’t be afraid to ask! Most people are nice and accommodating and will understand simple requests due to some sort of life circumstance.

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Changing Policy

No matter where you work, there will be something that you disagree with. While not everything can be changed, as an employee there are some changes that you can push for! As a live-in professional, you might have to follow more rules that a person that doesn’t live on a college campus. Maybe you want to be able to paint your apartment or have someone live with you. Are there things you disagree with at your work place? Have you thought about changing the policy?

It’s hard to make changes right away. Certain things are completely okay to ask about, for example, having a partner or child live with you. If you have been hired as a live-in professional, you do need to know if these important people (that you probably are living with at the moment) can come with you to your new place. You will either be told yes or no. You might be the first person to ever ask that question and they might change or create a policy right then! Other things you might need to wait on. It’s hard to make big changes when you’re the new kid and don’t fully understand how your new work place works.

A good place to start is by asking questions. Why is the currently policy in place? One of the schools I interviewed at had a ban on pets in professional staff apartments. Why? Well, back when pets were allowed, one staff member had a LOT of cats and when she moved out, the entire apartment needed to be GUTTED because of the cat urine smell. Unfortunately, like a lot of policies our students must follow, one bad egg ruined it for the rest of us. When was the policy last updated? The current policy in place might be outdated! What your colleagues think of the policies in place? You might want your cat or dog to be able to live with you, but your other co-workers don’t have pets so while they’re not exactly pushing for a change, they might be supportive of you.

At your workplace, how do you go about changing the policy? Depending on the policy, it might be something you need to do with HR or it might be something that just stays in your department. What do other updated policies look like? Are you able to write it or would a legal team have to?

One of the most important things when changing a policy is having support from co-workers and supervisors. Depending on the policy itself or the school you work at, changing a policy can be a big deal. You might not be able to do it alone. If you are a newer employee, it is much easier to get things done if you have the support of those who have been around longer and have more connections at your institution.

While it’s not the easiest thing in the world, you can change a policy, even as an entry level employee. The important thing is to ask and to understand that it can take some time. Have you changed or implemented a policy at your campus? What’s a policy that you would like to change or implement?

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A Letter to My Teachers

Dear Teachers,

This is a letter to all of you to apologize for any rumor, lie, or mean thing that I ever said about you. I didn’t know it when I was seven twelve seventeen twenty that these things got back to you. I thought these were things said among friends and classmates in our own little world that was very much separate from yours. I didn’t realize that these things would hurt you. That you might actually care about what your students think about you.

See, I didn’t think you cared about us at all. I thought that you were just doing your job which, well, I guess you were. But caring about us is why you have your job. I mean, let’s be serious. Compensation for teaching includes a meager paycheck, a few too many colds and viruses, and at least one of those weird tri-flavor popcorn tins each year. You became a teacher because you wanted to help us grow and be better people and be educated.

So since I thought you didn’t care about us, I didn’t think that these things would hurt you. That you might go home and cry at night because of the things we said about you. I know how that feels now and it sucks and I try to tell myself, “It’s just students, why should I care?” But the truth is I DO care. I want to be liked. What person doesn’t?

I also want to apologize for anytime that I heard another student say a rumor, lie, or mean thing about you and I did nothing to stop the conversation or stand up for you. Standing up to your peers can be terrifying, but if I knew how much that would mean, maybe I would have done it at least once. To hear that a student didn’t stand up for you sucks, especially if it’s a student that you thought might actually do that for you.

I want my students to like me but I know that I can’t please everybody. I also know that I have to do my job and most of the time my students want me to do the opposite. But at the same time, I want to work with them. I want them to understand why my job is the way it is. I want them to get it. And I don’t want them to say rumors, lies, or mean things about me because it hurts. Unfortunately, I know some day a lot of them will know this pain as many are education majors.

I’m hoping that none of you teachers remember me. Or if you do, it’s for something awesome I did. I know in high school we’re so caught up with the drama of who said what about who that seems completely life ruining at the time…except ten years later, you can’t remember it. So maybe in ten years, I won’t remember these days.


The Author (and many other students you have had that now work in education)

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How I Spent My Evening

I know in the next few weeks, things are going to be crazy in BOTH of my offices. A final push to get ready for Greek Week, Greek Awards, and Initiations from one, RA and Housing Selection from the other. I know last time things got crazy, I threatened to stop blogging for a bit…but I think I maybe missed one post. I’m obviously great at follow through.

To prepare for the busy weeks ahead, I went through the ol’ blogging binder. Yes, I have a binder for that too. I keep a running list of ideas and the “status” of each idea. My original plan for the evening was to get some outlines for ideas that I’ve had sitting around…but that turned into writing…and the next thing you know I had edited a bunch of posts and outlined others and scheduled a few.

So yes, I spent the evening writing, eating Chinese food, and singing along to the “Love Songs” Pandora station. Maybe I have been reading too many Candace Bushnell novels… But the good news is that while I’m running around my campus like a crazy person, you’ll still have new reading material coming to you three days a week.

Happy reading!

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