Friday, November 06, 2015

Mid-Career and Liking It

It occurred to me I a) haven't written in my blog in just over a year, and b) I do really enjoy and miss regular writing. I may take it up again to exercise my writing muscles by providing a few updates here and there.

This post is a brief reflection on my career. I consider myself to be in the beginning of my "middle aged" time, and I am also definitely mid-career. I like it. It's a good realization to actually enjoy one's career. I've been in higher education in some capacity for over 20 years now. That 20-year mark will be made official next summer when I will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of my master's degree in higher education. Earlier this week I celebrated the 5-year anniversary of earning my PhD in higher education. Time marches forward, and at the moment I feel I've usually used my time very well. Sometimes I felt it took a long while to complete my education, but if I look at it as an overall process, it's not like I'm "done" learning in my life. It's all one big ole process anyhow.

I enjoy directing the small research center here at LFU. It's been a good 15 months thus far, and I'm just beginning to get my grounding. That transition has taken quite a while, but here we are...transitioned in and moving ahead. I still have plenty to learn, but I'm certainly no longer "new" in this role anymore. Am at the time where I'm bringing about my own vision for the future of this center. That is both exciting and a little daunting at the same time, however, I definitely feel comfortable making these sorts of decisions based on my years of experience and steeped knowledge in this sort of assessment-y / research-y role. I look forward to working with the others in my department to help determine steps toward reaching that vision. If you had told me I'd be in this decision-making role at a LFU just a few years ago, I would have told you were you nuts. It's really cool to finally be at this point in my career.

It's also nice not to feel a huge push to consider what my next steps will be. And yet, I can visualize them pretty well. I will likely assume a role of AVP or VP for institutional effectiveness or something else in the long-range planning end of things to advise a president or a chancellor. I like the advisory, behind-the-scenes role. I think it suits me well to have some decision-making responsibilities but also to be supporting those who are on the front lines of our work. Sometimes I wonder if I want to be in a senior leadership role someday or whether or not I'd prefer the advisor-on-the-side sort of role I'm in now. Not sure yet, but fortunately there still is room for me to consider all sides and grow. And it seems that growth could occur here at LFU, so we may not be moving to Chesterley IV anytime soon, which is GOOD.

That's all for now. Next up will be some sort of a house update or two.

No comments: