The First 90 Days: SAGrad Transition to SAPro

You have made it. You are in your first position as a Student Affairs professional. You have secured your necessary degrees, packed your belongings, and made the journey to your new institution. Everyone talks about getting that first job but we do not talk about the what comes after. There is a few things I have learned in my personal journey from #SAGrad to #SAPro.

You have made it. You are in your first position as a Student Affairs professional. You have secured your necessary degrees, packed your belongings, and made the journey to your new institution. Everyone talks about getting that first job but we do not talk about the what comes after. There is a few things I have learned in my personal journey from #SAGrad to #SAPro.

Transition struggle is a real struggle

We expect the transition to be easy. Whoever tells you transitioning is easy is lying through their teeth; at least I think they are. The first few months into the new job are probably the roughest ever. There is uncertainty, a lack of fulfillment, and any weakness present are exposed. The first few months into a transition are tough. You have to get to know people, learn your job, adjust to a new area, and figure out who you are as an adult. Some adjust easy but others do not. If you do not adjust easy, you are not alone. Just take it one day at a time. Remember to stop and take a deep breath. Student Affairs is connected. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone in your place and ask them how they are doing.

Be Patient with Yourself

On top of transitioning struggle, adjusting to the new professional gig that can be difficult. You can find yourself stuck in “Well, my previous institution…” mentality. Learning a new way of doing something can put up a roadblock in your mind. Be prepared to break down that block and be open-minded. However, do not be afraid to make mistakes. Do not be afraid to question why or just ask for clarification just to get a better understanding. Set a development plan with your supervisor.

Fit is not just a buzzword

Fit was one of those words I grew to hate during the job search. Things can feel easy and wonderful during the on campus interview. University departments are trying to woo you during this stage, we all know that. Everyone tells you to look for the red flags while on campus and while you might see them because things feel great. You leave knowing in your gut that this is where you are supposed to be. When you are knee deep in the experience, something just does not feel right. You cannot really place your finger on what that something is but just feel out of place.  It is okay to admit you misjudged. Learn what you can from the environment because regardless if the fit is good, there is always something to learn.

Mental health matters

Going from student to full time employee can shake up your life. As graduate students, we finish our office hours and then go home to work on coursework. We hang out with people from our cohort or other fell graduate students. When you become the professional, a side of your life is gone and it can feel lonely, especially when you are new to a institution. As Student Affairs Professionals, we are blessed to work in a field that encourages continuing learning and development.  However, the feeling of missing our peers and coworkers from our graduate institutions does not always go away.

Take care of yourself. The first 90 days can be stressful, it can be a struggle, the fit can be off, or it can be a thrilling ride that sends you on a high. Regardless, your mental health is important to take care of. We handle a lot in the first 90 days, it can take a toll so do not be afraid to ask for a comp day off or go for a walk around campus. You have to take care of yourself in this transition.

 

Transition struggle is a real struggle

We expect the transition to be easy. Whoever tells you transitioning is easy is lying through their teeth; at least I think they are. The first few months into the new job are probably the roughest ever. There is uncertainty, a lack of fulfillment, and any weakness present are exposed. The first few months into a transition are tough. You have to get to know people, learn your job, adjust to a new area, and figure out who you are as an adult. Some adjust easy but others do not. If you do not adjust easy, you are not alone. Just take it one day at a time. Remember to stop and take a deep breath. Student Affairs is connected. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone in your place and ask them how they are doing.

Be Patient with Yourself

On top of transitioning struggle, adjusting to the new professional gig that can be difficult. You can find yourself stuck in “Well, my previous institution…” mentality. Learning a new way of doing something can put up a roadblock in your mind. Be prepared to break down that block and be open-minded. However, do not be afraid to make mistakes. Do not be afraid to question why or just ask for clarification just to get a better understanding. Set a development plan with your supervisor.

Fit is not just a buzzword

Fit was one of those words I grew to hate during the job search. Things can feel easy and wonderful during the on campus interview. University departments are trying to woo you during this stage, we all know that. Everyone tells you to look for the red flags while on campus and while you might see them because things feel great. You leave knowing in your gut that this is where you are supposed to be. When you are knee deep in the experience, something just does not feel right. You cannot really place your finger on what that something is but just feel out of place.  It is okay to admit you misjudged. Learn what you can from the environment because regardless if the fit is good, there is always something to learn.

Mental health matters

Going from student to full time employee can shake up your life. As graduate students, we finish our office hours and then go home to work on coursework. We hang out with people from our cohort or other fell graduate students. When you become the professional, a side of your life is gone and it can feel lonely, especially when you are new to a institution. As Student Affairs Professionals, we are blessed to work in a field that encourages continuing learning and development.  However, the feeling of missing our peers and coworkers from our graduate institutions does not always go away.

Take care of yourself. The first 90 days can be stressful, it can be a struggle, the fit can be off, or it can be a thrilling ride that sends you on a high. Regardless, your mental health is important to take care of. We handle a lot in the first 90 days, it can take a toll so do not be afraid to ask for a comp day off or go for a walk around campus. You have to take care of yourself in this transition.

 

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