Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my time in Tallahassee. While I didn’t officially start work until the 8th, it was one year ago yesterday that I ventured north with my parents in a rainstorm to try and shove all the IKEA boxes and books upon books into my apartment.
I don’t want to use this post to reminisce about the lovely time that I’ve had, the amazing relationships I’ve built, and the good work I feel I’ve done. Though all of those things are real, and I do feel them, there’s something more important I want to talk about.
I know too many people struggling in this first year of work.
Perhaps because I’m working on ways to teach supervision to my grad, or maybe because a potential NASPA proposal I’m working on concerns adequate preparation for postgraduate work, I am noticing so many of my friends truly struggling in their first positions. Be it with their relationship with their supervisor, their adjustment to the institution, or building a social network in their (relatively) new home, everyone is having significant trouble.
The question, of course, is WHY?
Why are so many people coming up on their one-year marks and finding themselves unable to truly celebrate? Even while happy in my work, I was unable to rip into my proverbial cake in the fashion of this young man because of the areas in which I feel like I’m struggling.
I don’t know where the blame of this lies. Is it the fault of grad programs, who are missing the opportunity to inform soon-to-be grads of some of the difficulties they will realistically face in the transition? Is it the fault of supervisors who ask new staff to hit the ground running without checking on their personal and professional well-being? Is it the fault of the recent grad for underestimating the reality of the struggle?
I have no idea. And I don’t claim to have an answer. I just know that I want help for those who are struggling, and a field of helping professionals should- in my estimation- be able to do something about this for its own.
So I’m asking. New pros, I want you to be able to eat cake. If you’re interested in answering a few questions for me about your first year- good or bad- please respond using the link below- I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!