Words of wisdom from an HR director

A couple of weeks ago, I had a casual meeting with the HR director at my husband’s college. We talked about my job history and what I might be looking for. I kept saying “I’ve read that academics looking for alternate careers face these issues…” Or, “I’ve read that a resume should be 1-2 pages long. Do you have a sense that it’s one or the other?” Or, “When reading career books and websites, I see a diversity of opinions about having a summary or objectives section on your resume; do employers want to see this?”

She answered my questions quite handily, but she had a word of advice:

“You need to stop reading and thinking so much, and get out and do something, anything.” 

I think I gave her a deer-in-the-headlights look for just a split second, before I recovered my composure. It had never occurred to me, my overly academic self, that I’d been doing too much reading, thinking, and research. I mean, that’s what one is supposed to do, right? I take that holy trinity of reading, research, and thinking so for granted that I hadn’t even realized there was another way to go about this.

Yes, I’ve been considering my options as far as how to fit volunteering or part-time work together with the times I need to be home with my kid, and the mid-summer “deadline” of a new baby’s arrival. But to just stop thinking and go volunteer, just to do it, not to contemplate for days or weeks on end what might be the best place to do so, and why, and the possible outcomes, was a radical notion.

I may have actually done something about it and found some volunteering to do. I will keep you posted. And I really ought to contact the local museum the HR director mentioned, or the public library, to see what’s up over there as well.

Anything to get out of my comfort zone of reading, researching, and thinking, hmmm?


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