Karyn Romeis writes about her career frustrations, and gets both encouragement and advice from several people. I’ve felt similar frustration a time or two — in no small part because I’ve tended to remain in a position longer than average.
G. K. Chesterton said there’s a great difference between a man who wants to read a book and a man who wants a book to read. Something similar, I think, between a person who wants to do a job and a person who wants a job to do. I think the first is initially harder but clearer — you have some vision of the work you want to be doing, so it’s easier to recognize whether alternatives fit into that vision.
On the other hand, search doesn’t pay all that well.
The world of corporate or organizational (non-academic) learning is wide, but in many places it’s highly structured. I’ve never been a great fan of the corporate university concept; some time ago I encountered one that even had deans. For those who like that sort of thing, that’s the sort of thing they like. It did seem to me that, as with SCORM-heavy environments, an awful lot of time and energy went into justification by weight — the more paper you produced to ground your argument, the stronger it was.
After all, paper’s an insulator.
Not everyone’s able to do the job he’d like; sometimes we’re fortunate to have a job to do that calls for our skills and appeals to our interests. I haven’t worked in a corporate job for seven years — but nearly everything I’ve done since then has been for corporations or large organizations. Sometimes it’s been mainly to pay the bills. (During a debate during the presidential election of 1976, Bob Dole was asked why he wanted to be vice-president. He replied, “It’s inside work, and there’s no heavy lifting.”)
I think I’m a long-term relationship guy: I’d rather maintain and expand my connection with a few clients than go through dozens of them. That isn’t always possible, but it’s an ideal, and it helps influence how I deal with those I come in contact with.
I don’t have any useful advice for Karyn, other than to say that knowing what you want — and occasionally checking its viability — is a real advantage.
Hero help wanted photo by ewen and donabel / Ewen Roberts.