September 23, 2003

Earthlink, Schmearthlink

I have been working on a static website to go along with this blog, a kind of companion piece where I can put my resume, references, etc. etc., but I've hit a bump in the internet autobahn... can't get the Earthlink website creation site to let me publish (or unpublish, for that matter) any of my draft content. I'm on the third go-round of emails to the support folk there... sigh. Will try to keep forging ahead in other ways.

September 22, 2003

Making A List

I'm feeling better now, and making a list of the folks I think might be able to help me at some point in this process. You're probably on it. It reminds me of an exercise I was once assigned in a graduate course at UPenn. The professor asked us all to take out a blank piece of paper, and then, seeing the look on our faces, she reassured us that this was not to be a quiz. "Imagine that you are in some kind of trouble: you've been injured, or your car has died, or you've been thrown in jail. I want you to spend the next few minutes writing down the names of the people you would contact in those and similar situations." We all sat there imagining ourselves in dire circumstances and writing down the names of our "go to" people. When it seemed that we were mostly done, the prof said, "Now turn your paper over." And then when we all expectantly looked at the still-blank side of our paper, she said, "Some people's list looks like this."

I try to carry the feeling of gratitude that exercise inspired with me wherever I go. I am so fortunate to have people in my life who care about me and would be there for me no matter what. I'm adding new people to my list as I think of them, even if I'm not sure yet exactly how I'll be asking them to help. It helps me remember that although it is most definitely MY jobsearch, I'm not in it alone. I think I'll be looking at this list long after I've started my new job.

September 18, 2003

Ahhh Choo!

Just when I felt like I was making some progress, I get laid out by a cold. Good thing I bought a kabillion Kleenex on my last shopping trip. Sheesh.

September 17, 2003

Why Schools?

ML and I have taken to calling academia "the golden handcuffs." The longer we stay, the harder it is to imagine leaving. True, we could make more money in any number of corporate jobs. But would we have access to Firestone Library, Springdale Golf Course, and be surrounded by people who are passionate about education? I'm not ruling out non-academic settings, but if I had to lay odds...

September 16, 2003

Why Not Admissions?

Finally got together with MM tonight to catch up a bit and bring her up to speed on my plans. While we were still in connect-the-calendars mode I'd mentioned that I'd missed seeing SM on my last swing through the office; MM kindly invited SM to join us for pizza dinner at her house, which was great.

When I tell people that I think I may end up back at TCNJ, they often think I mean back at my old job. And why not? I had a great experience there... terrific people, a chance to make a real contribution, bright students. But at this point I have pretty much decided to rule out college admissions jobs unless it becomes absolutely necessary to consider them. There are two main reasons for this: First, I think that taking a break from waged work has made me hungry for new challenges. After over a decade of admissions work, I certainly still have more to learn, but there is also much that will never be new for me again. The second reason for looking beyond my "field of origin" is of a much more practical nature. It would be better for our family if both grownups weren’t both on the same “fall = travel, winter = reading” schedule . So, yes to school life, no to admissions. At least not undergrad. I think.

September 12, 2003

This Had Better Be Good

Scooted over to TCNJ's website to look at their childcare info and fee structure. It looks pretty reasonable... will have to talk to SM to see what her kids' experience of it was like. Meanwhile, all I can think is, "Whatever job I get has got to be good enough to make it feel like an okay idea despite the fact that I'll be missing D every minute for who knows how long."

September 09, 2003

Baby Steps

Spoke for quite a while today with the ever-generous JD, initially about a specific position that may or may not open up, but then widening the discussion to search strategies in general. I told him of my growing conviction that the people you work with are at least as important as the work that you do, and he helped remind me that it's a both/and proposition. After all, the best leader in the world would have a tough time making a job like blocking lenses at Winchester Optical seem fulfilling. (Sorry, Mr. Lynch.) So we're back to, "I want it all." :-)

JD's approach -- admittedly from a situation quite different from mine, but still -- was to spend time thinking about those skills he felt were ones he could offer, and also to learn as much as he could about what people needed and what they were like to work with/for, then look for the best fit. Matchmaking 101.

And, like looking for a house, I think one of the keys could be finding ways in which you are different from other seekers.

Another interesting aspect of our exchange was my internal reaction to some of the details of the position discussed at the beginning of our conversation. When the job was described as not having much authority in matters of policy, I immediately thought, "But I LIKE being involved in policy." Liked it at Penn as the coordinator of all advanced standing, and deliberately sought it out while working to help pull together the constitution for the Staff Senate at TCNJ. Good to remember.

September 08, 2003


It's official. A year from now I need to be back working for wages.

September 07, 2003

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