This is Sharon, my gorgeous boss, and the Director of Recruitment, Admissions and Financial Aid at the UNC School of Social Work. Do you see those gifts around her? Just another reminder that our three weeks of job overlap have come to a close, and that from next Monday on, she will be off to the wonderful world of motherhood while I cry and wave good-bye and cry some more.
Well, okay, not really. It's more like a high-five as we trade places: she goes out for maternity leave and I return from mine to take on some of her responsibilities part time for the year. And I can honestly say that so far, I love her job. I have had many people ask how work is going, and I can't think of any other work I'd rather be doing. The fall is very recruitment heavy (in preparation for the application deadline at the beginning of next year), so much of my work so far is interacting with prospective students, participating in recruitment activities and events, and working on strategic new advertising techniques. Come January, we will be in the throws of admissions, with rating applications, sending out acceptance letters, and working on the financial aid packages and scholarships we can offer particularly competitive students.
Some of my favorite things so far about working where I work are the extremely nice people I work with, and the fact that a lot of my job is interacting with interesting people who are passionate about making some change in the world. Whether we have that ambition or not, I think there has got to be something said for people who take up the formidable task of tackling social problems.
Some of the hardest things about working have been leaving Gigi, having her refuse to eat from the bottle until just this week (yes, she finally got it!), and trying to funnel down a full-time job into my half-time hours. I am trying very hard not to set a precedent of working more than 20 hours a week, because I want to be a mama bear and protect my time with Giovanna.
And finally, the most unexpected thing I have had to learn about working half time is that my days off are like gold: whether I choose to do fifty errands and visit people and play all day, or whether I choose to kick up my feet and watch movies or nap all day, I want to make a conscientious choice as to how I use those hours. When a lazy day rolls by and I haven't been mindful about my freedom, the evening comes and with it the feeling like I've just let something good slip through my fingers...