Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making the move

The process of moving a household is crazy, so I won't focus on that, lest I start to cry or panic. Instead, I want to focus on moving on to the new job.

One strange thing about getting a job is moving into a new phase in your life. For example, I am having to force myself to stop looking at jobs. I have been looking at job ads for several years, trying to find something in the discipline or in central administration that fits my interests. I now have to take myself off the disciplinary website job notification list. When I read through the Chronicle (yes, I still like the hard copy), I have to flip quickly past the job ads to the essay on the last page. It is difficult to remember that I am "off the market" in my professional life.

Instead, I am going to a new position, and I imagine being there for several years. If I have any interaction at all with the job ads, it will be posting one for a faculty hire or keeping tabs on them for former doc students and friends who are on the market. (One of my favorite things is helping other people find the right job. I have been successful in helping several students and friends find good positions.)

Also, I am moving up the food chain in terms of my new administrative role. This new role will include a budget to manage, faculty and staff to lead and supervise, and many more decisions to make on a daily basis. It is a classic win-lose: I get to be creative, and I bear the burden of responsibility for successes and failures. I am excited and nervous about this new role, and I know that I truly will not understand the pressures and the benefits until I have had the position for a while.

I have been packing up my files and books at work, thinking about what to keep. Examples of departmental assessment plans and tools: keep. Committee notes related to my former job: toss. Presentations and articles about best practices in leadership: keep. Information from my own presentations so old that the suggested references are from the 1990s: toss. I am still not sure what to do with pictures of former students, copies of teaching evaluations from my current school, my tenure packet, etc. I am likely keeping them, probably until the next move or a future time when I don't smile when I see them.

As I pried the nameplate off the door, with my old administrative title underneath, I imagined the new nameplate with my new title. There is something magical about a new beginning: so much potential, so many possibilities. I am ready, I think, to move on.

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