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CREATING A STUDENT AFFAIRS CAREER STRATEGY

When writing a strategic plan, it is often helpful to have a format to follow.  We offer such a format for your career strategy.  Considering the five components of our format – lifelong learning, extending your experiences, planning for professional development, networking and connecting, and self-reflection – will assist you in crafting an all-inclusive plan for your career.


Five Career Strategy Components Part 1

Career strategies can be broken down into five different yet intertwined com­ponents or tactics. Some would argue that there is much overlap between the tactics, and they are right. However, there is enough distinction between each tactic to think about them independently first and then see how they weave together to create a holistic career strategy and path. The five career strategy components are (a) lifelong learning, (b) extending your experiences, (c) planning for professional development, (d) networking or connecting, and (e) self-reflection. Each component is a vital tactic to your career strategy and should be addressed in your career plan.

1. Lifelong Learning

As educators, we espouse a belief in lifelong learning. But, do we live it? Lifelong learning is defined as both formal and informal learning experiences or educational opportunities. The formal aspect of lifelong learning includes but is not limited to master’s and doctoral programs in education, coun­seling, social work, and public administration, among others. The informal opportunities for lifelong learning can consist of taking self-development and betterment courses, volunteering, shadowing, interning, attending con­ferences and institutes, conducting committee work, reading literature and research, and engaging in intentional conversations with colleagues and stu­dents. Lifelong learning will be discussed in Chapter 4.

2. Extending Your Experiences

We often work with our students to assist them in deciphering what they are gaining through their experiences on campus through involvement and in whatever workplace they may be employed. Do we do this for ourselves too? Do we take time to decode our job descriptions or to discern the transferable skills that we possess through our experiences? Extending your experiences is about understanding not only what you are gaining through your formal employment but also how doing committee work, volunteering at all levels, and having personal interests outside of your “day job” can take your experi­ences to another level and impact your career. Extending your experiences will be considered in Chapter 5.

Check in next week for Part 2 of Five Career Strategy Components

 By Sonja Ardoin

Click on the source code STYSG4 to receive a 20% discount

The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career by Sonja Ardoin, March 2014, 192 pp, 6″ x 9″, Paper, 9781579229580, $24.95, E-Book, 9781579229603, $19.99

 

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