June 18th marks my one year anniversary of working at my current place of employment. Just to recap for those who are new to my blog, I was hired at a local private college after a year and a half of unemployment. I was thrilled when I got the job for two reasons. The first is, obviously, because I needed a job. Secondly, I always wanted to work for a college. I was fed up with the corporate world and felt I was better suited to the world of academia.
I don’t love my current job as much as when I started, but I do still enjoy working at the college very much. My co-workers are great people to work with, and we do stop to have fun during the workday. I am particularly proud that the college spends a lot of time and energy servicing present and potential students. Higher education, in my opinion, is primarily about preparing people to compete successfully in the global market, as well as expanding ones knowledge about a vast variety of subjects. The college takes the students and potential students very seriously and that ranks very high in my book.
The college consists of dozens of employees who have worked there for well over twenty-five years, which speaks volumes. For several years in a row it was voted one of the best places to work. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a job.
Learning online has gained a lot of respect over the years, and I say it is about time. Thousands of college students today are adult learners, so the traditional classroom just doesn’t fit into earning a college degree for this very large segment of society. The college that I work for is strictly an online school, so there are no traditional classrooms. We have permanent and adjunct faulty from all over the country. Many of the courses offered are 8 weeks long, but some do run for 15 weeks.
I work in the Human Resource department. My official job title is Payroll/Benefits Specialist, however, I really have very little to do with the benefits side of things. I primarily focus on payroll in my day-to-day tasks. I recently applied for one of the open seats on the President’s Committee for Inclusion (PCI). The committee received a lot of applications for the open seats. I was told that it was quite a challenge choosing the people who would fill the six open seats because all of the applicants have very strong qualifications. Those chosen would have to make a two-year commitment to PCI. I am happy to report that I was one of the six people chosen. I received my letter of appointment from the President of the college, and I am very excited about being a part of the team. This is right up my alley!
The reason I said that I don’t love my job as much as I did in the beginning is because after a year, I still feel like a new hire. There is still so much that I don’t know as far as how things work in a college. The college uses a pathetic payroll system that I have not been allowed to really explore and intricately learn because I was told the classes are difficult and not up to par, and that is why I have not been sent to training. I was also told that since we are going to a new system it didn’t make any sense to send me to training. I do understand that reasoning, but since conversion to the new system would not even be implemented until 2016, I feel that I would have been better off going to training for the old system anyway. As a payroll professional I really needed and wanted to learn the current system inside out, regardless of how inept it is.
There are other reasons that I still feel like a new hire, but to make a long story short, my capabilities as a payroll professional are not being fully utilized. My direct manager keeps loading project after project onto my co-worker and leaving me with hardly anything to do on some days. My co-worker is very frustrated about this too. Why is she being inundated with work when I am sitting in the office right across from hers and can work on projects. I have worked as a payroll administrator for 26 years. I know how to run a payroll department by myself and have done it for years. Yet in this job I am made to feel as if I am entry-level in the world of payroll and HR.
Speaking of a new system, it looks like the one the college is going to go with will be fabulous. I cannot wait until we are all trained on it because then I will have the same amount of knowledge about it as everyone else. Now the downside to this new system is that it does just about everything you want it to. It is going to cut out of lot of tasks that several people in the office are currently spending time doing. Meaning that we will be left with very little to do ourselves. I can see some sort of re-structuring happening once the new system is up and fully running. Many companies today that offer high-tech human resource management systems can eliminate real people in the workforce, and I can see that happening here. I think it would be very wise for me to protect myself by getting my writing and vlogging career off the ground as quickly as possible. If there is a reduction in workforce I am not interested in going to look for another job with another company. At this point in my life I am not interested in starting over again. I am so done with that. It is time for me to start generating income on my own. Even if there isn’t a reduction in force at the college in the future, I need to secure my finances outside of my current job. Relying completely on a company to keep a roof over your head is not at all what it used to be when I first got out of high school. Times have changed, and I remember how vulnerable my life became when I was laid off at the end of 2012. I had mortgage to pay and unexpectedly found myself with a car payment too. I don’t ever want to be in the situation again where I am left wondering for a year and a half where I would get the money to keep me living indoors. Thank God that school is now behind me. Now I need to reinvent myself in ways that brings me financial freedom.
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