Thanks again

I feel as though I should write two more posts “between jobs.” This is one of them.

The last six or seven months have been interesting. For most of you, this post was the first you heard about my situation. Things actually started a few weeks earlier, but initially I only contacted a dozen (or so) people. Shortly before that post, I sent similar email to more than a hundred friends and acquaintances.

Within a week, I was overwhelmed by the extent to which other libloggers picked up on my situation, and wrote this post as a followup. I also heard from more than half of the people I sent email to. In all but one case, the responses were heartwarming (and I’ll just ignore the one remarkably heartless response–at least others who really didn’t give a damn or didn’t have anything to say simply didn’t respond).

I won’t go through the other job-related posts; you can read them by selecting the “job” category from the sidebar, if you’re so inclined. I was approached by three groups, in two cases with offers that could be small parts of a patched-together consulting-style future. (The third case is still evolving and may yet be part of what I do. Oh, and I was also approached by Marydee Ojala, editor of ONLINE, with an offer to start a new column there, where I’d written for more than a decade–a suggestion I cheerfully accepted.) Along the way, I recognized two things:

  • My respect for good consultants (and good adjunct faculty and good trainers) grew.
  • I became aware that the kind of self-promotion required to do this effectively, while entirely valid, was so counter to my basic personality that it would substantially interfere with Cites & Insights and other writing projects.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t go that route, and probably be pretty good at it–but that it’s not my style. We also looked at our budget a couple of times during the long summer (we’ve been aggressive savers for some time, we’re terrible shoppers–that is, we don’t much like shopping and acquiring, and that all makes a difference) and came to some conclusions about worthwhile balances.

In the end, as noted here, a long-time friend, Peggy Sullivan, was the key: Not in getting someone to craft a special job for me, but in forwarding a position that she thought I might find intriguing. I did indeed find it partially intriguing; after a conversation with Ann Yurcaba of PALINET, I concluded that it could be a worthwhile challenge that made good use of my skills while encouraging me to expand those skills.

You know the rest. I’ll start in as Director and Managing Editor of the PALINET Leadership Network next Monday, with a whole lot of learning and networking to come. It’s not a full-time position, and that turned out not to be what I really wanted at this point. I’ll be back in touch with two groups, probably deferring any action indefinitely. And we’ll see what happens with one other activity…another one that plays to my skills while providing new challenges, but definitely secondary to PLN.

Mostly, then, this is to say thanks to everyone who posted, emailed, commented, hung out at LSW Meebo, and otherwise supported me during this odd quest. I was deliberately vague at the beginning, wondering what would come up. I’m delighted with the way things worked out, and could not have begun to predict that course.

Thanks. I’ll see some of you in Baltimore in two weeks and a day. I’ll see more of you in Philadelphia in just under three months. And, of course, I’ll continue emailing, posting, reading blogs, and once in a while hanging out with that odd group at Meebo for a few minutes here and there–and writing and learning.

Oh, and reading: After too many months, I was back at Mountain View Public Library yesterday afternoon. Two p.m. on a weekday at a library with excellent evening and weekend hours (including Sunday hours), so the library was…not even close to being deserted, with quite a few people in the bookstacks, a bunch at computers, a group in the Teen Zone, kids in the Children’s Room, and even one or two in the media section. Because, like any good public library, MVPL cherishes books (as do its patrons) and also goes beyond them, in a way that–to my mind–pretty much assures its future.

Hmm. Maybe that’s the other post, in two sentences. We’ll see.

One postscript: If you see sentences with no space separating them, it’s not my sloppy typing. WordPress’ WYSIWYG editor has a nasty habit of swallowing paragraph breaks–sometimes even when you’ve put in the HTML. Some day, I’m sure they’ll fix that; some day, I’m sure Microsoft will fix the Vista notebook wifi problem…

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