The start of a new year invariably provides us all with an opportunity to review our lives and to set goals for ourselves. It’s also a good time for professionals to assess their progress on their career pathways, an annual review of sorts. Here are some of the key areas to consider:
- Are you a “thought leader"?: Set aside time in your schedule to think about trends in the industry, and brainstorm with others about what admissions and enrollment management might look like in the coming years. A senior director of admission told me last year that “the earth is moving.” Learn how to react to changes, and how to be proactive as you anticipate those changes.
- Unplug from your job periodically: If you are going to last very long in this business, you simply must get away from it from time to time. Admissions is a great career, but if it becomes your life, that is not a sustainable course.
- Educate yourself: A graduate degree is not necessarily essential, but it is very important. If it has been a while since you earned your bachelor’s, consider degree programs in relevant areas like school management or educational leadership.
- Enlarge and nurture your network: A network is not a group of acquaintances! It’s other professionals in the industry who really know you and understand the depth and breadth of your talents and abilities. Every time you meet someone, present at a conference, or express your opinions in front of other professionals, you are defining yourself as an admission professional. The people who hear you and see you are your network. Job security comes from this group, so enlarge and nurture it.
- AISAP is the answer: There are other groups, but only one is dedicated to the advancement of you as an admission professional. Attendance at the Annual Institute is of such value, but even if you can’t attend, you will still have enormous value by being a member. And remember all those webinars, professional contacts, and blog posts!
Mr. Lawrence Jensen
Director of Admissions,
Saint Stephen's Episcopal School