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It's OK to Leave At 5 O'clock - University of Louisville


									It’s OK to Leave At 5 O'clock:
What Every New Professional
       Should Consider
 Donjanea Fletcher, University of West Georgia
      Leslie Hahn, University of Florida
  Michelle Hahn, University of South Carolina
    Brandon Hernandez, Eastfield College
    Michael Mardis, University of Louisville
     Amanda McCarthy, Roanoke College
    New Professionals Institute, 2007
   What is NPI?
    – Program for new professionals sponsored by
      the Southern Association for College Student
      Affairs (SACSA) and NASPA, Region III
   Who are we?
    – Mentor Group at 2007 New Professionals
      Institute (NPI) in Radford, VA
    – Our Work Locations: Student Affairs
      Departments in Texas, Florida, Kentucky,
      South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia
    New Professionals Institute, cont’
   What is the purpose of NPI?
    – Purpose 1: Gain knowledge, skills from seasoned
      Student Affairs professionals to improve in profession
    – Purpose 2: Become increasingly connected within
   What do you do at NPI?
    – Five days of sessions, professional related activities in
      following areas:
       Healthy Life
       Career Goals
       Understanding the Transition of
           the New Professional
   “The First Year on the Job: Experiences of New Professionals in Student
    Affairs” by Kristen A. Renn and Jennifer P. Hodges

     This article details a one year study of new professionals. Three
      overriding themes for new professionals found: Relationships, Fit,
      and Competence. These themes played out during three distinct
      phases of the first year on the job: Pre-Employment and
      Orientation, Transition, and Settling In. A detailed explanation
      of these themes and phases are available in the chart on the next

     The conclusion was reached that the understanding of the transition
      of a new professional can help guide their supervision, support, and

     This article provides “theoretical” background to our understanding
      and discussion of this topic today.
Understanding the Transition of
  the New Professional, cont’
            The Challenges

   There are many challenges for a new
    professional as they aspire to obtain a
    healthy work life balance. Yet, there are
    simple actions and cautions to consider as
    they move closer to the balance they
    Why the need for balance?

   In our professional career, we must acknowledge that
    this is not the only aspect of who we are.
   There are definitely other segments of our lives that
    add to who we are, as opposed to just our career.
    Such as:
     Family life
     Civic and Community
     The spiritual realm of our
     Friends and Colleagues
Recognizing your limitations
   As a new professional, as you begin to plan programs, are asked to
    sit on several committees, attend out of town conferences and late
    night lectures and return to work the next morning… it is important
    to recognize that your body has limitations.

   When you challenge its limitations, one could end up in worse shape
    than anticipated… So recognize your limitations.

   As a new professional, one is truly eager to make a difference,
    receive recognition, and feel as though you have made a significant
    contribution in your area, but it is important to keep a balance.

    If we stay balanced we can better serve:
     – Our institutions and the needs of students and therefore operate
       in a more proficient manner.
       Setting a good example
   The balance you find is not the same for others… but it is important
    to model the change that you want to see in others. In this case…“
    your actions can speak louder than your words.”

   For some, there may be a period of imbalance, which will allow
    for: stages of growth & lessons to be learned
   Some professionals may be strategically imbalanced to find out what
    works for them (in which to acknowledge areas to grow in)

   Finding your balance is a continuous process.
         Maintain passion for a
            lifelong career
   There are (3) important reasons why one should consider finding
    balance early as a new professional. As you begin to develop in
    your role at your institution at some point:
     – Your responsibilities will increase
     – The level of accountability will increase
     – Burnout can be observed in those individuals who have not attained a balance

   By being mindful of the new levels that you will move toward in
    your career, this will ultimately assist an individual in maintaining a
    passion for a lifelong career.
Strategies for achieving balance
   Discussion of Six Dimensional Model by Bill
     Hettler, Professor at University of Wisconsin
     Also Co-Founder, President of National
     Wellness Institute
     Created Six Dimensional Wellness Model
     Additional Information can be located at and
    Why use the Six Dimensional
 It’s Holistic and Multi-dimensional
 It’s focused on achieving balance in life amongst
  six elements, rather than two or three
 It’s based on belief that investing too much in
  few areas leads to decreased wellness and ailing
 It’s a pathway to optimal living
    What are the six dimensions?
   Physical Development: Reaching         Intellectual Development:
    and maintaining a physically            Participating in creative and
    healthy state (e.g., exercise,          mentally stimulating activities and
    healthy diet, self care etc)            sharing skills/gifts

   Spiritual Development: Seeking         Occupational Development:
    meaning and purpose in existence        Experiencing enrichment of life
                                            through work
   Emotional Development: Acquiring
    awareness/acceptance of feelings,     Test Your Personal Wellness:
    having satisfactory relationships
    and positive self-concept (e.g.,       =1627&id_tier=3430
    stress management skills)

   Social Development: Contributing
    to the environment and
    community (e.g., volunteerism,
    team efforts, family etc)
    How to Use the Six Dimensional
 Intentionally reflect on your current life balance,
  giving each dimension a rating on paper
  according to energy you devote to it
 Decide ideal balance, reevaluate each area
  based on this, ask what changes are realistic to
  accomplish desired balance, and what obstacles
  will be faced
 Use log to track current/future
  balance and use buddy system
  for accountability
Barriers to Wellness
             Two Sides to Every Story (like
              photo, showing old and young
              woman in same picture, there
              are 2 ways to look at life)
             Explore current views, beliefs
              that prevent balance
               – Derived from relatives and
               – Derived from other
                 experiences (e.g., school)
               – Examples: “I have to be
                 perfect” or “I have to
             Play “Devil’s Advocate”
              (challenge beliefs)
    Consequences of overlooking your
 Depression
 Anxiety
 Heart Attacks
 Stroke/Hypertension
 Skin Disorders
 Problems with Gastrointestinal System
 Insomnia
 Degenerative neurological disorders
 General Life Dissatisfaction
Wellness Words of Wisdom
               Words of Wisdom from
                Seasoned Professionals

                – Advice provided by female
                  student affairs
                  professionals in study
                  presented at NASPA in

                – Does this match what you
              Perception vs. Reality
                with Supervisors
   “Many new professionals assume their first
    professional positions expecting to be
    apprenticed to their supervisors, and may
    eagerly await their directives for office
    operation, career advice, and involvement
    opportunities in the field. Given the limits of
    tangible validation and reward in our field, it is
    often the supervisor to whom the new
    professional looks for reinforcement and
    reassurance.” Harned P. J. & Murphy M. C. (1998) Creating a
    culture of development for the new professional. New Directions for
    Students Services. (84) 43-53.
         Communicating with
           Your Supervisor
 Two-Way Recruitment and Communication
 Respect the chain of command
 Create open communication
 Deal with disagreements in an appropriate
  and professional manner
 Discuss the autonomous vs.
  micromanagement style
 Utilize professional development
Expectations of New Professionals
 from the Supervisor Prospective

   “New professionals must understand that
    there is hard work ahead. There is
    potential for many rewards so an
    investment in their own growth and
    development will pay many dividends in
    the future” (pg 52) Harned P. J. & Murphy M. C. (1998) Creating
    a culture of development for the new professional. New Directions for Students
    Services. (84) 43-53.
Expectations of New Professionals from
  the Supervisor Prospective (cont.)
  Accomplish established objectives
  Bring new ideas
  Learn new things (be willing to try)
  Grow professionally
  Maintain a positive attitude
  Be a team player
  Maintain a high level of integrity
  Importance of a Mentor
          Independent Research
   Type: Anonymous online survey w/ 33 questions
   Focus: New professionals in student affairs &
    personal balance habits
   Definition of new professional: 5 years or less
    professional work experience in student affairs
   Sampling method: Convenience via email
    invitation to student affairs departments &
    professional association listservs
   Number of respondents: 363 total
         Demographic Information
   Gender: 71% Female; 29% Male
   Race/Ethnicity:
    White 79%                     American Indian/
    African American/Black 9%   Alaskan Native 1%
    Hispanic/Latino 4%                  Other 1%
    Multi-Ethnic 3%
   Relationship Status: Single 37%; 28% Dating;
    35% Married/Domestic Partnership
   Number of Dependent Children: None 91%;
    One 5% ; Two 3%; Three .8%; Four plus .6%
      Institutional Type & Experience
   Type of Institution:
    Four-year public college/university – 57%
    Four-year private college – 37 %
    Two-year community college – 6%

   Size of Institution:
    4,999 or less – 32%            15,000 to 24,999 – 16%
    5,000 to 9,999 – 14%           Larger than 25,000 – 29%
    10,000 to 14,999 – 10%

   Total Full-Time Professional SA Experience:
    Less than one year – 29%    Three years – 22%
    One year – 9%               Four years – 14%
    Two years – 22%             Five years – 5%

   Relocation: 47% moved a significant distance to accept their
    current position
                   Job Information
   Job Level:
    Entry Level 67%       Mid Level 30%        Senior Level 3%

   Work Area:
    Housing/Residential Life 37.5%   Community Service 2.5%
    Student Activities 12.4%         Cultural/Ethnic Center 1.9%
    Academic Support 10.7%           Greek Affairs 1.7%
    Career Services 6.9%             Student Union .8%
    Student Leadership 2.8%          GLBT Services .6%
    Recreation Services 2.8%         Women’s Center .6%
    Disability Services 2.5%         Other 16.5%

   Highest Education Level:
    Bachelor’s 16.1%                 Post Master’s Certificate 1.1%
    Master’s 82.3%                   Doctorate .6 %
      Reported Average Work Hours
   Average Work Hours:
    35 or less hours - 5.8%   56-60 hours - 8%
    36-40 hours - 19.6%       61-65 hours - 1.9%
    41-45 hours - 26.4%       66-70 hours - .6%
    46-50 hours - 25.9 %      70 plus hours - 1.4%
    51-55 hours - 10.5%

   Summary:
    - 75% of New Professionals work 41+ hours
    - 52% worked 41-50 hours
    - 19% worked 51-60 hours
    - 4% worked 60-70+ hours
       Survey Results: Overtime
   Work/balance habits examine by series 5 point
    likert scale questions

   Remaining at work late or arriving early several
    times a week (3.93/5)
      Variable positively correlated to:
       - Skipping lunch or eating at one’s desk to
         save time
       - Taking work home in order to be successful
         at one’s position
       Survey Results: Overtime
   Remaining at work late or arriving early
    several times a week (3.93/5)
      Variable negatively correlated to:
    – Regularly scheduling time for hobbies and
      non-work events
    – Reporting adequate time for friendships and
      significant relationships outside work
    – Satisfaction in career balance
    – Belief a balanced life is a realistic goal as a
      new professional
              Survey Results:
          Supervisor’s Expectations
   Supervisor having reasonable expectations of what
    can accomplish during working hours (3.83/5)
    Variable positively correlated to:
    – Supervisor role modeling positive work/life balance
    – Co-workers taking sick/vacation time when needed
    – Regularly scheduling time for hobbies and non-work
    – Satisfaction in career balance
    – Satisfaction in emotional wellness
    – Belief a balanced life is a realistic goal as a new
             Survey Results:
         Supervisor’s Expectations
   Supervisor having reasonable expectations of
    what can accomplish during working hours
    Variable negatively correlated to:
    – Average number of work hours
    – Taking work home in order to be successful
      at one’s job
                Survey Results:
             Scheduling Social Time
   Regularly scheduling time for hobbies and
    non-work events (3.52/5)
    Variable positively correlated to:
     – Adequate time for friends and significant relationships
     – Satisfaction with physical, emotional, career, social,
       spiritual balance
     – Belief a balanced life is a realistic goal as a new
     – Supervisor w/ reasonable work expectations
     – Co-workers taking sick/vacation time when needed
               Survey Results:
            Scheduling Social Time
   Regularly scheduling time for hobbies and
    non-work events (3.52/5)
    Variable negatively correlated to:
    – Social circle consisting primarily of co-workers
    – Working late or arriving to work early several times
      a week
    – Regularly taking home work to be successful
    – Average work hours
            Survey Results: Balance
Satisfaction level rated on 7 point likert scale:
    1 = Very dissatisfied; 2 = Dissatisfied; 3 = Somewhat dissatisfied
    4 = Neutral; 5 = Somewhat satisfied; 6 = Satisfied; 7 =Very satisfied

Survey Results:
   Physical Wellness – Neutral (4.3/7)
   Social Balance – Neutral (4.5/7)
   Spiritual Balance – Somewhat satisfied (4.7/7)
   Career Balance – Somewhat satisfied (4.8/7)
   Emotional Wellness Somewhat satisfied (5.0/7)
   Intellectual Wellness – Somewhat satisfied (5.2/7)
             Personal Balance Tips
   Balance & wellness are intertwined
    – Positive correlations exist between all
      balance/wellness dimensions
   Scheduling time for non-work events
    positively correlates to balance/wellness
   Having adequate time for friends/significant
    others positively correlates to
Tips to Balance Work and Life
     Adapted from: “Coachville: Coach Training”, Natalie H. Gahrmann

1.     Establish limits and boundaries
2.     Let go of guilt
3.     Build a Support Network
4.     Determine your own standards
5.     Create time for yourself
6.     Get organized
7.     Be flexible
8.     Enjoy quality family time
9.     Achieve an integrated life
Check out these additional references and readings:
     Amy, C., & Smith, B. F. (1996, May). Balancing our personal and professional lives. Campus Activities
      Programming, 37-40.
     Byington, Melissa. (2008, January). Forget Superwomen: Seek Harmony of Work and Life. Women in Higher
      Education ,38.
     Daddona, M. F., Cooper, D., & Dunn, M. S. (2006). Career Paths and Expectations of Recent Doctoral Graduates
      in Student Affairs. NASPA Journal, 43(2), 203-215.
     Greer, R. M., & Poe, R. E. (2005, Spring). Developmental aspects of dual-career relationships: Reflections and
      issues. College Student Affairs Journal, 24(2), 162-169.
     Grube, S. A., Cedarholm, K., Jones, C., & Dunn, M. (2005, Spring). Master’s student life: The balance between
      student and professional. College Student Affairs Journal, 24(2), 152-161.
     Guthrie, V. L., Woods, E., Cusker, C., & Gregory, M. (2005, Spring). A portrait of balance: Personal and
      professional balance among student affairs educators. College Student Affairs Journal, 24(2), 110-127.
     Havice, P. A., & Williams, F. K. (2005, Spring). Achieving balance: Lessons learned from university and college
      presidents. College Student Affairs Journal, 24(2), 128-136.
     Lassiter, Jr., Dr. Wright. (2008 January). Workplace and Life Effectiveness: Lessons for Leaders and Followers.
      Dallas County Community College District Chancellor’s Weekend Memo. No. 82: 1-4.
     McClellan, M. (2005, Spring). When you die, your inbox will be full. College Student Affairs Journal, 24(2), 207-
     Reisser, L. (2002). Self-renewal and personal development in professional life. In J. C. Dalton & M. McClinton
      (Eds.), The art and practical wisdom of student affairs leadership, New Directions for Student Services, no. 98
      (pp. 49-60). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
     Renn, K. A., & Hodges, J. (2007). The First Year on the Job: Experiences of New Professionals in Student Affairs .
      NASPA Journal, 44(2), 367-391.
     Toma, J. D., & Grady, K. A. (2002). Reconciling life and work for the new student affairs professional. In M. J.
      Amey & L. M. Ressor (Eds.), Beginning your journey: A guide for new professionals in student affairs (pp. 97-
      118). Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
     Waple, J. (2006). An assessment of skills and competencies necessary for entry-level student affairs work.
      NASPA Journal, 43(1), 1-18.
           Time to Ask the Panel!
   Donjanea Fletcher,
   Michelle Hahn,
   Brandon Hernandez,
   Michael Mardis,
   Amanda McCarthy,
   Moderator: Leslie Hahn,

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