written by Juhi Bhatt
Recently I’ve been leaving messages for all my #sasearch friends.
These messages come in the form of text messages, emails, voicemails, and even Facebook messenger messages.
The conversations are not always long. Most often it’s a quick message to say hey how did that interview go? Or hey I’m thinking of you. Longer conversations are left for my commute home because catching up on phone calls is a perfect thing to do when you have a hour plus some change drive home.
Even if these messages or conversations are not long, they are important. I remember when I was on the #sasearch just recently as a professional looking to transition. It was stressful, frustrating, and overwhelming at times. There were definitely days where I questioned if I would ever find my next position. This frustration was even worse when I was a #sagrad on the #sesearch because at that point I was hunting for my first professional position. That was beyond stressful. Thinking back on how I felt during that time is what motivates me to check in on my peers who are currently looking for their first professional home, or a new home in student affairs.
For me, most days the #sasearch process felt like dating. I know many of you will agree with that sentiment. Let me explain.
I’d get a phone call from a potential employer aka potential suitor, I’d spend some time getting to know them and vice versa and wait for the follow up call about an on campus interview. If I did get an on campus interview, because sometimes I got rejected just after the phone call, I’d go on my first “date” and think that things went really well only to find out that my employer or suitor did not feel the same way about me. Enter heartbreak.
Just like in real life situations of heartbreak with dating partners, I would look to my friends and family for support. The #sasearch is no different. When I did get heartbreak from potential employers it was always nice to hear from a friend. A quick text saying “it will work out” or “don’t lose hope” always helped me feel better. It was nice to also know someone else was thinking of me. On the flip side it was nice to know who I could call if I needed to chat about what I was feeling. Those folks kept me motivated and calm as I searched. Just like dating I did eventually find my partner aka my professional home. But just like in dating sometimes my partner and I did not stay together for the long haul and that was ok too.
The only way I know how to give back to those that were there for me for what they did for me, besides being there for them in times of need, is by paying it forward. I am paying it forward by checking in on my peers who are currently on the #sasearch grind. I am making sure they know it will work out. They will find a job. They will be ok.
Because just like in the dating game sometimes we need a friendly reminder that it will all work out in the end.