Changing jobs can be exciting as well as overwhelming, especially when a new position requires a move to a different institution in another part of the country. Such a change is even more complicated during a pandemic.
In an upcoming roundtable session at the 2021 (106th) Annual Meeting, Sam Fugazzotto of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, along with Adrienne Bricker of The Ohio State University, Roslyn Perry of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Keri Disch of Washington University in St. Louis, will offer insight into the pros and cons of making a professional move. The session is one of several that will focus on self-care and supporting community at this year’s meeting. The facilitators, who each recently made career transitions, will help guide participants through personal and professional factors to consider when making a job change as well as strategies to adapt to a new institution.
Changing jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic
“This is a particularly trying time in the higher education profession and the world, and to add a job or career change on top of everything else that we have been challenged to pivot on is difficult,” said Perry. “I think sharing our experiences will help others who may be struggling with the choice of taking a new job or remaining where they are until this pandemic is over and things become more stabilized.”
Bricker added, “I think our perspectives about changing jobs while working virtually might be of particular interest this year.”
“We all recently moved to a different state and, in some cases, different time zones,” said Fugazzotto. “We really wanted to provide a panel discussion for folks who were considering changing jobs. There’s a lot to unpack there.”
Personal and professional considerations
In addition to the nuts and bolts of moving, finding housing, and family considerations, like researching school districts, there are often unexpected challenges. Fugazzotto, for example, was surprised how much he missed his previous job and city. “You don't realize how attached you get to your institution or where you live,” he said.
The session will cover topics such as asking the right questions, being flexible, and finding balance. Facilitators will also share leadership practices that have been successful at their respective institutions and how they made changes due to the current COVID crisis.
“Whether transitioning to a management role or an individual contributor role, changing jobs means entering a new team and community of colleagues,” Bricker said. “This can be daunting at any time, but especially during a pandemic when all members of that new community will have experienced a variety of stress, loss, and trauma. I am hoping that we can share ways that we have found to build trust and empathy with others while also taking care of ourselves and leading by example.”
The 2021 (106th) Annual Meeting will be held virtually March 29-April 1. Explore registration fees here.