For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to do something in education. When I was in high school my dream was to be a high school band director. In fact, I majored in Music Education, but that didn't last long. Once I found my niche, somewhere around my second year of college, I decided that I would be a college professor. So I studied hard, earned three degrees, progressed through the academic ranks, and here I am. On April 29, I accepted the position as President of Everett Community College in Washington (not D.C., but the state). Isiah (my hubby) and I cried, we did our own dance routine in the living room, we prayed, had celebratory drinks, and probably slept for two hours after I received the call. I signed my contract a few days later, and I am now preparing to move from New York to Washington in under 48 hours with a husband and three kids. My start date is July 1, but I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately and I've decided to share my thoughts.
As this is my first time writing a blog (seriously), I hope to make my first entries as informative as possible on the "stuff" they don't tell you in the leadership academies or in school. Stuff like, make sure you have low credit card balances to afford multiple cross country trips for interviews. Yeah, you get reimbursed, but I've heard some horror stories for sure on folks who did not realize that was the case. Not every college will front the money in the beginning. After all, they want to make sure you are invested in the opportunity first.
Also, be sure you have some cash tucked away for the MOVE! If you get the job and you have to relocate money goes quickly. You have to pay for services to move your vehicles, down payments for moving companies for your furniture (luckily Washington has a really good policy for movers--we can discuss that later), and you need to make a trip to find a place to live. Consider the hotel expenses, airplane tickets, rental car companies, and food, you will notice your bank account dwindling rather quickly.
I've been to Washington three times in the past four months and we are making the permanent move Saturday, and I'm traveling with 5 people! Almost $2,000 for one way flights! This isn't my first time moving. I was born and raised in Georgia, went to school in Florida, moved to Texas by driving my 2010 Kia halfway across the country, relocated to New York after six years, and now preparing for an adventure in the Pacific Northwest. How exciting!
The only thing free in this process is the application. If you are lucky enough to get an interview and it is not Skype and is face-to-face, get your credit cards READY!
But I wouldn't have it any other way. I enjoyed this process from beginning to end and I am super pumped about what the future will bring at my new college. Always enjoy the process--just make sure you are financially prepared for it and negotiate a good relocation package. I'll tell you about the saga of selling our house later...
In my next post, we can discuss the interview.
Let me know your thoughts below!