One thing I learned at the CASE District III conference is that you really have to manage expectations. I’m telling you, in 66% of the sessions I went to, they said that higher education professionals have to manage expectations and I agree whole heatedly. But I’ll take it one step further and say that all professionals, especially young professionals, must work to effectively manage expectations. People think that, because many of us are 40 and younger, we’re in a position to work ourselves into the ground. And I refuse to do that. I believe in having a strong work ethic but I don’t believe in doing eight things halfheartedly. I believe in doing a few things and doing them exceptionally well. So, when asked by upper management to take on additional responsibilities, do one of two things – say “Let me look at my workload and get back to you on that,” (and actually do both of those things) or say “I can put that on my plate but I’m going to need you to let me know how high this is on your priority list and what I need to shift down because my plate is full now.” If you fail to manage expectations, people will expect you to have everything done at once and that is illogical. You’re one person, not five. Make sure your leadership remembers that.
Make professional development a priority.