When are you no longer new?

getting ready to swim. photo (c) L. Cunningham

An unwritten rule at my college is that an employee is considered ‘new’ for six years. I’m at two years now and I do still feel ‘new’, mostly because I’m still learning so much, meeting people, and there’s an endless list of projects I’d like to investigate.

It’s easy to get bogged down in a daily routine and forget about making time for new challenges and opportunities. It’s easy to mix eagerness with dread thinking about the busyness of the upcoming school year. I’m looking forward to some vacation time but I’m already anticipating the grind come mid-August.

It’s amazing the amount of motivation you can derive from a quick conversation or guidance passed on to you. I received two ‘pick-me-ups’ last week:

My boss recently sent me a great list of ‘small things’ not to sweat, and one of them is “Quit anticipating tiredness”. How great is that?

I met a local businessperson this weekend who, after chatting for awhile about our backgrounds, exclaimed, “You have a Master’s degree from U of T? You can do anything you want!”

Sometimes we forget about our expertise, value and what we can bring to others and the community. Sometimes we forget to think outside of the box.

At our local professional group (not an association) we decided to become a CLA network for southern Alberta. Some of the concerns expressed by members were “what if people from Calgary want to join?” and “what if someone from Ottawa wants to join?” Why close doors instead of opening them?

One thing I’ve committed to over the last year is trying to leave the library ‘bubble’ occasionally by reading more broadly (lately in business, education, and a history of physics). I’ve also joined a college-wide committee that I’m excited about. Get out of your office, get out of your library, and see what you can do.

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