I have had a lot to think about in these last few months into being a working Mom. As you learned from my last post, balancing has been pretty tough for me. I have been constantly faced with the question of… do I really HAVE to do it ALL?? Every time a gracious fellow working mom has told me that I will get used to this new normal, I think to myself; but what if I don’t want this to be my normal? Because I don’t like it. Enter temper tantrum here.
I have worked very hard to get to where I am in my career. Starting off 8 years ago as an itty bitty college grad, so excited to be a Freshman Admission Counselor at Aurora University. I had all kinds of visions of where my career would take me, becoming a leader in my office, heck maybe even the Director of Admission someday. I set goals, tried to outwork and impress everybody, say yes to everything, take on new projects and do my best. This brought me to a leadership position in my office that I often times felt unqualified for. It has challenged me and grown me so much professionally. These challenges have also brought me so much closer to those I work with, who happen to be a group of really amazing people.
Interestingly enough, the more responsibility I have taken on at AU, the less time I get to spend directly with students, which has been tough for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome to be a part of all the behind the scenes work in admission and have a say in a lot of things that effect our work. But, my TRUE passion lies on the ground floor at a college fair, in a high school visit, or one on one with those scared little high schoolers. Not in meeting after meeting after meeting. I did feel better about this transition when I created our Spartan Ambassador program, who are the 25 current AU students that work in the office and help run our events and campus tours. They helped me get that fire back as I was able to interact with and mentor them daily and loved it. Although eventually, I even had less time for them with responsibilities continuously pulling me in different directions. In constant talks with myself I have often been conflicted. Shouldn’t I be thankful that I am given more responsibility? Shouldn’t I be proud that I have the opportunity to lead others and impacting change? Isn’t this the path I wanted? To move up the ladder? To be a leader? It is the path that makes the most sense, right?
If I continued in my current role, I know I would eventually figure out a groove and it would be fine. I know I would still be successful and make a great impact at AU. I know I could probably hold a fancy title, make a decent salary and keeping adding to that good ole’ retirement fund. Part of me knows it is crazy to leave that path behind. But titles and money mean absolutely nothing to me. What means something? Being in a career that I am passionate about while simultaneously having more of a presence at home with my family.
I have decided to leave AU because I was in need of a change, an opportunity to have more time on the ground floor with students which I love, but also I was in need of a more flexible schedule to be with Rocklyn. My new position will be working for the University of Colorado, as the Assistant Director of Admission for the Chicago Region. What this means is:
1. I will get back into the college fair and high school visit circuit which I am SUPER excited about. More time with students!!
2. I will get to represent a school that has always seemed like a dream to me AND get to visit the mountains several times a year (which is good for my soul).
3. I get to work from home and see my baby more.
So, even though I will have busy times of the year where I am out for very long days, when I am back in the office…that office will be home. Even though Rocklyn will still be with a sitter, I will be able to sneak in a snuggle and a kiss in between phone calls and emails and not spend 10 hours a day every day away from her. This is CLUTCH.
I am not sure if this is the answer I am looking for, but I knew I had to pursue this opportunity and give it a try. Continuing on the path I was on was simply not working for me. I have been miserable. And Jill does not do miserable, Jill does happy.
AU has been so good to me and is such a special place. In fact, when I nervously shared my news with my boss and co-workers, everybody was so supportive and understanding. I am not sure why I was surprised, but it has blown me away. Makes it harder to leave even though I know it is the right decision.
My quest for balance continues, cheers to new beginnings!