“There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it’s often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.”
— Washington Irving
Tales of a Traveler (1824)
Two weeks ago I accepted a new “web guy” position, at a different university. So I’ll be leaving the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and beginning a new job in January as “webmaster” for the Sam Walton College of Business.
I smile at the “webmaster” title, because it harkens to an earlier era. But in many ways it will be fitting to be acknowledged as working in all-things-web, instead of simply being called a “web designer” and assuming those responsibilities under the radar. I’ll welcome the title as a term of endearment. I’ll work to push their website from pretty good, to something spectacularly fantastic. Storytelling, copywriting, design and development, photography – the works. I’ll swing for the fences.
The quote I used to begin this post referenced a change from “bad to worse” ..which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I just loved the witty’ness of the quotation, and the reference to “bruising.”
Let’s face it: Working with web in higher ed can be a bruising experience. Yet some of us love university life to the extent that we will stick around. And thrive, even if our abusive spouse smacks us around every once in awhile.
But “bad to worse?” No. My current job is awesomely amazing. Where I’m going, is no doubt the same. But I felt like I was getting too comfortable. Six years is a long time to work on a single web presence. And this job opportunity had every mark of a career advancement for me. I needed to do something new.
And everything will be “new” in this change. A new house, new schools and a new job for my wife and two children, new opportunities to learn. A new campus to explore. New people. New food. New parking nightmares. But most of all, new challenges. I’m excited about the new’ness. Can you tell?
Then there’s the part where I’m leaving. Leaving these people. Leaving this place.
The ironic part? “Web” interests are on the upswing at my current job. We are searching for a Director of Digital Strategy – a new position – essentially a czar of web. (Spread the word)
This person will run a new department – a real web shop with a mandate to support the web as a sustained operational asset. Designers, storytellers and developers, working under the same roof. Imagine that. It’s a big move for the university, and I won’t be here to see it happen. Which sucks.
And there are awesome people I’m leaving behind, which I won’t even begin to list. Talented, amazing people. Inspiring people. Friends.
I’m leaving, and we’re hiring. It is a time of great personal and professional change.