<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Friday, March 11, 2005
One Year, Drawing to a Close

Okay, I suppose it's time to tell this story. Though official announcements are still permeating throughout not only my office but others as well, as my boss said to me earlier this week, I need to look out for myself. That, more than any real desire to make this public knowledge, is what's driving me.

(Of course, it occurs to me that my boss might not have realized how integral blogging is to my ability to look out for myself--both this blog, in its moved and somewhat mangled form, and my work blog, which I'm currently unable to touch. At the Career Centre we talk about the power of networking nearly daily, and yet I think that it has not truly entered into the "career services" mindset how much networking has changed because of and with online communication technologies.)

Last Friday, one week ago today, I was notified by my boss that my project, officially named Pro-File: ePortfolio @ York, has been cancelled. This was due to two rather different but powerful reasons: one, budget restrictions; and two, disbelief that any ePortfolio program would be used by or useful to York students. As a consequence, all the work that I have done on this project--ten months of research, writing, discussion and planning--have come to a dead end.

I know that this decision was not a personal one; it's not about me. I know that there is little, if anything, I could have done to change the situation before the decision became final had I known that such a decision was pending. I know that projects with far more work, time and emotion invested in them have failed, and that I shouldn't truly consider this a failure. Yet this intellectual knowledge did little to alleviate the purely gut-level reaction that I had to this news.

The next issue to deal with, however, was obviously: what's to become of me? I was hired to research ePortfolios. I was re-hired--or, rather, had my position become unionized--primarily so that I could continue my work with ePortfolios. Though there were a great many other things that I did each day at the Career Centre, from developing marketing materials and writing content for our newsletter to taking pictures at events and copyediting, the ePortfolio project accounted for the bulk of my day and my work. Without it ... was I still needed? Am I still needed?

To be brief, I have been told that my contract will be honoured to the end of April, but that it would be in my best interests to be looking for other employment opportunities at this time.

So I am.

Do you know someone who would like to hire a writer? An award-winning writer with extensive knowledge of blogging and electronic portfolio technology, with passions for science fiction, fantasy, quirky literature and adventure racing, a marketing-related devotion to The Cluetrain Manifesto and a sarcastic sense of humour, no less. If so, please do let me know.

In the meantime I'm scouring job listings and starting to contact some individuals in my network. It's interesting, though: I realized that this job will bring me in a full circle. My first day of work was May 2nd; my last day will be April 28th. Strange and unexpected things happened to get me into this job, and strange and unexpected things have happened to make me leave. But best of all, my news that the project was cancelled was March 4th--one year to the day from when I met Rob Paterson, a consultant for the University, who happened to know of an office that needed someone to do some writing and research.

As I said in the somewhat cryptic entry that referred to that meeting, the Universe works in interesting ways. I was looking for a sign, and I was given one--then, and now again. So, despite everything, I give my thanks.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 7:41 PM


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