As I sit alongside a rain-soaked Coptic Street in London while tapping on my iPad and sipping a glass of merlot, I can’t help but reflect on the last nine months and the career adventure that has unfolded before me. Eighteen years of being at a single employer, a single university, suddenly became nothing but hindsight and experience as I entered into a role as a technology consultant. After a few short words and the penning of a signature, I transformed from client to vendor.
From what I understand, the rumor mill went a bit off the rails with regard to why I left. Let me set the record straight: I left the university because of a great opportunity, not because something was wrong nor was I asked to leave. The role I left was challenging, but not impossible, and the challenges were huge, but not insurmountable. I was starting to settle in and then something came along that just seemed right.
Now I am a guy “at that age” where self-reflection becomes a big deal. The thing is, I’m quite happy with my life and was quite happy with where things were going. I had finally developed a career plan and was headed straight for it. Then the opportunity to try a new gig came along and it gave me pause. Unlike most everyone I know, I could and can do whatever. I’m not married nor have kids, and I don’t have any particular family anchor to a part of the country. My closest friends live all over the globe, and I have no other links that bind me anywhere or to any particular career. For the first time in my life, I could really do anything. When the opportunity came up I decided that I will only live one life and since I didn’t end up a Middle-East broadcast videographer for CBS or the stadium tour audio engineer for U2, why not give it a go. I packed up and changed jobs.
Okay, so I did play it a bit safe and didn’t stray far from the farm. I jumped from higher education IT leadership into educational technology consulting. At my core and to anyone who knows me, I am an idea and process guy. It should come as little surprise that I ended up in a leadership role where I was, and it should be rather clear why consulting also seems like a natural path now. But why the change?
I felt I needed to learn more and in particular, more about education.
Eighteen years ago, I hadn’t set out to make a career of being in higher education. I needed a job — plain and simple. I was two weeks from running out of money and an entry-level university position was the option I had. Over the nearly two decades afterward, I became passionate about the potential embedded within education. Technology, as it seems, was the expeditionary vehicle that led me there — er, here.
The rain has stopped and the merlot is gone. Time to go.