What I Learned in the Job Search

As I come up on my six month anniversary at my new job (surely that is worth blogging about, stay tuned) I’ve decided to dust off this post.  Parts of it date from nearly a year ago, as I was basically using it as a place to write down some of the random thoughts that would occur to me during my explorations into the employment market.   (I would always test myself by clicking “Save Draft” instead of “Publish” because I like living on the edge.)  I’ve cleaned it up because I’ve been sharing parts of it with people I know who are on their career paths, and figure it could be of use to others. Of course, this is written by someone who is on the higher education IT leadership track, but it should have some relevance for anyone in the job hunt.

A disclaimer:  I’m not looking for a new job at the moment.  Anything written here is from the perspective of when I was looking for a new job, which was before I had a new job.  I like my new job, a fact about which I’ll elaborate on in a few weeks.


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On Complexity, and Why We Don’t get Conference (and Classroom) A/V Right

I’m inspired today by an offhand comment by the famous (in our circles) Bryan Alexander, who is a frequent keynote and guest speaker at conferences all over the world, and has a lot of stunning and evocative things to say about not just higher education information technology, but the state and future of higher education in general.  If you’re not familiar with his work go check out his blogs and articles.  Even if you don’t agree with them he will get your brain moving.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that an offhand comment on his Facebook got me thinking:

“I’m fascinated by how conference A/V is still flawed and failure-prone, everywhere.

Continue reading On Complexity, and Why We Don’t get Conference (and Classroom) A/V Right



It was a year.  Actually a good year–some things that were in limbo are no longer in limbo, and that’s a good thing even if everything didn’t fall out the way I thought I wanted it to.

So I have some resolutions for 2015.

The standard one–lose the holiday weight, get in better shape.  This is a specific weight goal and getting to finally run a 25 minute 5k.  I got really close last year, and then a bad bicycle accident last July knocked me off track.  I’ll get back into it again, I’m sure.

Reduce my procrastination and improve my time management.  This actually relates to another goal, which is to be more consistent in my follow-through on things.  One of the things I learned this year is that I haven’t been where I thought I was on this issue, and that I can greatly improve things by ensuring that people can feel they can rely on me.  (Which they can.)

I think people will find their resolutions, if they have many, are in fact related, and in fact have a root cause.  Fixing that root issue will make the rest work out.  Follow-through may in fact be my root issue, and by doing better on that, I will be able to more easily accomplish my other resolutions.  I also notice that by finishing things I am no longer weighed down by formless worrying about them, and I can use my forward momentum to keep accomplishing.

I know I’m supposed to know this, but I think we all need to be reminded of it once in a while.

One of my other points of follow-through is maintaining this blog.  I hope people are reading it.  I think I have a sense of the mix of things I want to put here, and what I want my voice to be.  If I can semi-regularly publish content and work things out here it will also help me keep things moving.

So here’s to onward and forward.

On Decisions

I realized something recently.

I am, in many ways, quite cynical.  The reasons are numerous and varied, and perhaps not entirely all good.  It’s not that I don’t care about anything, it’s that sometimes other people care a whole lot about things I don’t consider important.   This came about when I said that most of the decisions we make on a day-to-day basis in our work, things like what software to use, what specific methodology, etc., basically don’t matter.  Or, while we might agonize over the criteria used to evaluate one item over another, many of the differences in choices are not discernible before implementation, and may not even be discernible after implementation.

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Preparing for EDUCAUSE

I’m just over 36 hours away at this point from being picked up entirely too early by a car service to head to Newark Airport to fly to Orlando, Florida for the EDUCAUSE 2014 Annual Conference.   This will be my 9th EDUCAUSE Annual by my count, and this one is different because it’s my first as a member of the EDUCAUSE 2015 Program Committee.  That means we get to have a meeting with our committee and the 2014 Committee, where they share their wisdom and give us advice for our next year.  There’s a lot to do for next year and it will be great to get started. Continue reading Preparing for EDUCAUSE