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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Still Thinking of the 80/20

The hiring season is upon us.  

In the past several months I've been on a job search. What have I been searching for?  An escape from my current position or a step up into a new one?  The decision to job search when you're not having your hand forced is a tough one.  I'm sure many a student affairs professional has pondered when the right time to leave is.  I've been debating it for 2 years!  

I've been in this current position for 5 years now.  I like/love what I do.  It ebbs and flows, ya know.  Some days I think, "I have the greatest job on the planet!" and other times I have a hard time making it through a work week.  The latter is pretty rare.  

This time last year I was pretty certain that this current school year would be my last.  Man.. it's been tough to figure out what I want. I know what I want to do - work in student activities.  But what is it that I'm looking for in particular at a new institution?   I have it pretty good here.  I have a down to Earth supervisor, I get along with everyone in the department, I know tons of people on campus, I've cycled through an entire graduation class, I do well on my annual evaluations from peers and my supervisor, and I've garnered a reputation of respect, trust and achievement with staff and students.  

I've shared with close friends, my desires to conduct a job search.  While everyone is supportive, some have asked why do I want to leave if things are going so well.  I've thought about that myself.  After writing the first blog about the 80/20 rule I thought, "Wow, I have a close to 80% here and I'm off looking for that 20% and who knows if it'll even equal 80%."   If you've followed my blogs, you'll recall one from way back that talks about a student that came to talk to me about student organization "stuff". That conversation caused me to want to stay in my position for another year.   Yes, I'm in my 5th year here.  Yep, I'm pretty comfortable.  With that comfort comes the idea to "shake it up a bit".  I have an opportunity to "shake things up" for next year and change a couple of my duties - however, I haven't committed to this yet.  

I've gone on two campus interviews.  I didn't get either job.  One school hired an internal candidate.  The other hired someone who fit into their budget (at least that's what I gathered considering the type of conversation that was had with the Assoc. Dean).  I just interviewed with another school and that was probably not my best interview.  It was my birthday, I was on my cell phone for the interview and totally had my mind on other things.  The Light Saber was tucked away in the other suit that day! HA!  Even if by some chance I'm offered a second interview - I'm going to decline.  The pay simply isn't enough for the D.C. area.  This leads me to one other application.  It's an awesome opportunity.  A position that I can see myself fitting into just from the job description alone.  If this one doesn't work out - guess what?  I'll be here at UNLV doing a job that I enjoy.  

I really do think this university is a great fit for me for right now.  It's amazing how many people I've seen come and go for whatever reason - and I'm still here.  Longevity.  Now there's a word you don't hear from many people in the field.  Not until you reach a much higher level that is or if you work at an institution near or in the city you were raised.  

With that said.... I think I have 80% satisfaction for sure.  If it's this difficult to decide to leave, then there must be a whole helluva lot that keeps me vested.  

What makes YOU want to stay at your current institution? What's your percent of satisfaction that you feel you have in your current position?  

At any rate, here's to one more go 'round with the resume and to everyone finding their 80%!  


beekayroot said...

I've only been in my position as a Resident Director, going on 2 years now; but I can't help but think about my next step. Like you, I am very happy and comfortable in my current position. Although, there is a desire to make a little bit more money and to "shake things up." I just can't quite figure out when I should begin the process.

Dennis said...

I have to say.. I actually took the interview at the school near D.C. It just seemed like a great opportunity and I wanted to just be sure if my thoughts were right.

The campus interview was great and maybe this will be my next 80%. Here's to hope!

As for starting the process... all I can say is that you should always keep your eyes open for an opportunity. You never know when something might appear and be a really good fit - even if you are comfortable where you are.