Managing multiple careers is tough. Doing it successfully takes passion, patience and organization, according to Cathy Self-Morgan, head coach and athletic director at Duncanville (Texas) Independent School District.
With 17 years of experience in coaching and seven years of additional experience in administration, Self-Morgan has expertly juggled the responsibilities of both positions and still managed to direct her teams to 15 berths in the Texas University Interscholastic League playoffs, three state championship game appearances, and an impressive 105-game winning streak from 2012 to 2014. This year Self-Morgan will relinquish her duties as an administrator and once again focus solely on coaching. Before she does, however, she shares a few tips on balancing multiples roles.
Make time for time management
Find your balance. Keeping everything organized, scheduled and prioritized is a great way to tackle having multiple careers. Knowing when and where you need to be is key.
“I spend 7:15 a.m. to noon in the athletic office and 12:30 to 6 p.m. in the basketball office or on the court (sometimes going as late as 10 p.m.),” said Self-Morgan. “If one department needs me, but I’m with the other, I have assistants who step in and help where needed.”
Surround yourself with great people who are strong in areas you might not be, and treat them as equals.
When juggling multiple careers, always have backup plans. Forgotten meetings or late games — the unexpected will always rear its ugly head at the worst time. If plan “A” does not work, don’t spin your wheels trying to force it. Doing so will take you nowhere. Instead, be flexible and find other creative ways to approach the situation in multiple ways.
Focus on people and purpose
When juggling multiple positions make sure you are passionate and love both jobs; it will make the tough times easier. Also, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call others in the same fields as you. This is a great way to get answers to your questions as well as build mentor/mentee relationships. And, most importantly, focus on the student-athletes, your staff, your school and your community. They are counting on you — use that as your motivation when things get overwhelming.