A few days ago I was told that "I have the ability to excel professionally because I know how to get what I want." I have never thought of that as being a professional strength, but I guess I should call my Dad and thank him for spoiling me and setting me up for success.
I am a go-getter by nature. I have always been the type of person that sees a need and does whatever I can to make sure that need is met. When I am passionate about something, I work hard to help others to get on board with me in order to move that passion forward. This personality trait has worked well for me as I continue to grow professionally. I have been afforded the opportunity to explore new projects and start new initiatives. I believe that I am setting the foundation for myself to grow to become a great leader in the field of student affairs.
Last year I was very excited about the possibility of sending a delegation from my institution to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE). I noticed that there was a need for improving our resources and services offered to aid in the success of under-represented students and I believed that attendance at this conference could provide great ideas and best practices for how to begin to improve in this area.
I researched ways to gain the funds to send this delegation to NCORE and I discovered an Institutional Grant that I could apply for. With the assistance of some amazing administrators I wrote a grant proposal titled, “Diversifying SIUE: SIUE Representation at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education”. I later found out that my grant was not accepted. For a few days I was pretty devastated. I had put many hours and tons of hard work into the grant proposal, but I knew that the need for better resources was still there and I did not plan on giving up.
I continued to serve on the University Diversity Committee and continued to have intentional conversations with individuals related to the need of better resources and services for under-represented students on campus. I was later informed that the Vice Chancellor wanted to support my proposal to send a delegation to the conference. Ecstatic is the only word I can use to describe my feelings when I received that news. I begin to revise my proposal to send to him for approval. To make a long story short, my institution will be sending a delegation to NCORE in July and not to beat my own drum but had it not been for my dedication to this area and continued effort to make it happen I am not sure if it would be.
As I processed this accomplishment, and I thought about my professional goals, I begin to realize that every day I am getting one step closer to my dreams. I tweeted the following the other day:
“Every day I read my plan that I set for myself during @JPKirchmeier & @annmarieklotz's GLACUHO negotiation pres. Getting closer 2 my goals...”
This tweet was in reference to a goal that I wrote for myself during a presentation tailored to women on negotiation at the 2010 Annual GLACUHO Conference. We were to write out a statement that began with the following: “In 3 months, by February 9, 2011, I will have effectively negotiated on my own behalf in the following ways…” 3 months passed and I will admit I had completely forgotten about the goals I had set for myself. When I received my statement in the mail, I was a tad bummed that I had not completed the goals I had set; however as I read the paper every day I know that I am inching everyday towards my dream.
I am a dreamer. I have always been from childhood. Without a dream and a goal I feel lost. This may not be everyone’s way to live but I do believe that it is important to have attainable goals in mind especially as you grow in your profession. No matter who you are, what level you are, what title comes before or after your name; we all have dreams. Take some time today to think about your dreams and goals. Are you taking the necessary steps to achieve them? If not, what is stopping you?
Take out a piece of paper and write out 3-5 attainable goals over the next six months. These goals can be personal and/or professional. Next, list 5-10 steps that you can take to achieve those goals. Post the list somewhere that allows it to be visible to you daily. As you complete the steps on your list, check them off. In six months I hope that you will have completed at least one of your major goals.
“Goals that are not written down are just wishes.” ~Author Unknown
“Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.” ~Bo Jackson
“Aim for the stars and maybe you'll reach the sky” ~Author Unknown