Wednesday, April 25, 2018
As my students transition into exam study mode and I start to close out all of the activities of this academic year, I have started to reflect on my accomplishments and goals. Reflection of this depth does not happen very often but I have a present awareness as I prepare for my series highlighting veteran members of our Academic Support (ASP) community. Last May, I sent a number of individuals who I consider veterans (10 years or more doing ASP work) a list of questions to guide what I wanted to know about them. I did provide some flexibility but most answered all of the questions. As I approach the ten-year mark as an academic support professional and about the thirteenth year if we count law school and graduate school, I am even more curious about what everyone has to share.
I never understood what people meant when they would say they looked up and ten years had flown by. Now I do because it is happening to me. I believe that this is a great time to reflect on where I am, whether it is what I envisioned for myself, what things are working well, what things are not working so well, and where I see myself in the years to come. It is a great time to have new or modified aspirations. This is certainly something everyone should consider whether a few months into ASP work or several years in. I have decided to borrow from my student affairs and career services colleagues, specifically what they tell students to consider as they try to navigate a professional career. It is unlikely that I will share all of my personal reflections but I will list some of the questions they tell students to consider but I will also list some of the questions I would ask students in my past life as a diversity and academic advising professional.
• What do I need from my career? (what role it plays in my life)
• What makes me feel truly fulfilled? (how do I measure success)
• What do I know about myself that helps me make good career decisions?
• What is important to me based on my personal values and beliefs?
• What do I know about my personality and style?
B. Skills Assessment
• What skills, experiences, and knowledge have I acquired?
• What skills, experiences, and knowledge would I like to acquire?
• What responsibilities do I have/have I had?
• What have I achieved?
• What are my strengths?
• What have been the highlights of my career and life to date?
C. Set Goals & Plan
• Are my talents being used and developed? If not, look for opportunities that allow you to use or develop the talents you have.
• Identify and exploit opportunities that address gaps in knowledge, ability, and growth.
• Select worthwhile but realistic goals.
• Consider steps you need to follow to accomplish my goals.
• Be flexible.
• Consider what will keep me motivated to achieve my goals.
I am certain that there are more sophisticated assessments and questions available but this is somewhere to start and verbalizing or writing these things down can be powerful. Also, if you have a person who helped you along the way as an ASP professional and who you trust, use them as a sounding board. Moreover, if you know of an ASP veteran that you would like to see spotlighted, please email me their name and school and I might be able to highlight them. (Goldie Pritchard)