Dr. Charles Middleton, President of Roosevelt University, offers some advice for professionals interested in pursuing a career in higher education.
Mr. Gray of Everett Smith Group believes mentors have a responsibility to continually challenge the young professionals they are advising. Follow-up with those advisees constantly to gather their feedback and better tailor your mentorship to their skills. If it becomes clear that they aren’t being challenged, raise your standards and help them reach those new objectives.
T.D. is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently employed as an instructional designer.
I’ve been working my butt off since I was 15 years old. I worked the maximum amount of hours that the law would allow during high school, and when I turned 18 at the beginning of my senior year I began working full-time. I worked at a fast food restaurant and at two grocery stores. I’ve worked weekends, holidays, and birthdays (my own, friends’ and members of my family’s as well), and I’ve worked back-to-back 12 hour shifts. During college all I could think was, “I can’t wait to get my degree so I can work Monday through Friday 9-5. It will be amazing.”
Well, I got that degree and amazingly enough, I found that 9-5 in my field within two months of graduating (and people say English majors will never get jobs!). And I must say, having every weekend and holiday off is wonderful. But to be honest, I make double what I made at the grocery store—with much better benefits—but I do about 30% of the work. Is this what I’ve been striving for? There are several times a week where I think, “Wow. I literally have nothing to do.” And I know that a lot of people would say they would love to get paid to do nothing, but the truth is that it is much harder to pretend to work than it is to actually do work.
The problem is that in a corporate environment, there are so many layers of team leads and managers and supervisors that it can take an entire day or more to even receive your project. Once you have it, if you ever have to ask someone a question about something, it can take several days for an answer. So what do you do while you wait for this information? Just that—you wait. You surf the internet, you go out to lunch with your team, or if you’re a dork like me, you listen to an audiobook on your iPod.
I want to work. I want to feel valued and appreciated for the skills and work ethic that I bring to the table, and I know that I am not alone. I have met some of the most hard-working, motivated, and ambitious people my age that give me hope that my generation isn’t as lost as people make it seem. The problem is: it’s easy to grow stagnant in a stagnant work environment.