Thursday, October 13, 2016

What I Love About My Job!

It's been a little over a year since we packed up all our stuff and moved across the country. I am now nearly half-way through the Fall (my 3rd!) semester. And while I thoroughly enjoyed my time in industry and working in NYC, teaching at the university level has been amazing. Friends/family often ask me how I am enjoying teaching and the new job. Here are some of the wonderful things I love about my job (and university!):

  1. I'm employed by the state. After working for private companies and then being in graduate school for six years, it's so nice to have benefits like health/dental/vision insurance, retirement plans, sick pay, etc.
  2. It's 1:30 in the afternoon and I'm blogging. I was finished teaching today at 12:10pm. I could technically go home now, or go to the gym, or go grocery shopping...one thing I love about my job is how flexible it is. If I'm a morning person, I can schedule all my classes in the morning and be done before noon...or I could sleep in everyday and teach afternoon or night classes. Almost everyone I work with doesn't teach on Fridays. Some of my colleagues schedule all of their classes for Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Did I mention I have Fridays off?
  3. I only work 9 months a year. I am contracted to work 9 months a year...which means as soon as graduation is over, I have the entire summer off. I also get winter and spring holidays. That doesn't mean I don't/can't make money during the summer. Many of us disperse our salaries over 12 months, and some of us teach summer or winter classes for extra income.
  4. I love my coworkers. Like any job, you will come across people you do and don't get along with...but for the most part, I work with great people, especially within my department. Many of my coworkers are good friends of mine and we often go out to dinner or Happy Hour.
  5. I get a teacher discount! I had no idea this existed until I started teaching. I've used this at my favorite coffee/donut store, craft stores, and even the vet's office.
  6. Free education. Every university is different, but our university offers employees and their spouses/kids free/reduced tuition. David is currently going to grad. school tuition-free. 
  7. Autonomy. We have directors, department heads, chairs, and provosts...but essentially, I am not reporting to a "boss" everyday the way I had to at previous jobs. For the most part, I get to dictate my schedule--when I eat lunch, when I leave the office, what I wear, etc. If there's an emergency at home (like the time the garage door broke), I can leave and go tend to it.
  8. The students. I really do enjoy getting to know my students. Many of them I see again and again every semester/year as they progress in their major. Sometimes they even invite us to (Greek) scholarship receptions. It's so sweet when they tell you that they've enjoyed your class or they're switching their major because of something you said or did.
  9. It's not a desk job. One thing I've noticed about desk jobs is that it's easy to gain weight and develop bad eating habits. One thing I love about my job is that I'm not on my feet all day, but I'm also not stuck at a desk sitting in front of a computer for hours. I'll spend 50-75 minutes lecturing, then go back to my office, then go lecture again. I might take a short walk to get coffee or lunch, then go do something else.
  10. I like what I do. This is probably one of the most refreshing things I've experienced. When I was in college (as a Journalism/Communication major), I realized that my parents and brother were all passionate about their jobs and careers. I was lacking this passion. I finally made the decision to switch my major to Apparel Merchandising/Business, and this was one of the best decisions of my life. I wake up everyday and I teach and talk about topics that I'm interested in, that I care about. College is not for everyone, and not everyone ends up using their degrees, and that's completely ok...but I'm proud of my degrees. I spent 9 years in school earning these three degrees that I use everyday in my career, and I'm happy that I get to do that.
Like everything else in life, my job isn't perfect all the time. I deal with deadlines and stress and the occasional late nights and weekends. I sometimes deal with unpleasant people and situations...but all in all, I really enjoy what I do. I don't mind waking up and going to work, and I think that has really contributed to my quality of life.

I have to add one more thing (that is not necessarily job-related):

The western United States is sunny. I've lived in the northeast, southeast, and Midwest for the majority of my life. I did not realize how much of a role weather plays in your mood and mental health! There are nearly 300 days of sunshine a year in Arizona. I'm sure that there are multiple contributing factors, but this has improved my depression and anxiety by leaps and bounds. Living on this side of the country has also allowed us to visit many different places (Sedona, the Grand Canyon, Vegas, Disneyland, etc.) and there is still plenty more to see and do!

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