Long Range Plans

16 Mar

I’ve been a long range planner for most of my adult life. I married for the 1st time before I graduated from college partly because I was afraid of life on my own. Girls back then were expected to put husband and family first and careers were just a job that one could easily quit to care for that husband and family. It wasn’t a time to talk about finding balance or personal growth. Over the following decade I realized what a disaster that could be.  I had made a career out of taking any job that was available. The good side was that I explored lots of industries and job titles. I learned to be flexible but the time had come for a plan which still allowed flexibility. A new job had to build my skill set and show a path for advancement. I became self employed and added more skills to my resume. My path may have wandered but I still had a plan. I went back to school to advance that life plan.

Now my plan is taking another turn which is exciting. It isn’t built with a job in mind although some employment opportunities may present themselves. They may add to my skill set or just sound like a good idea at the time.

Until then I have a job which is asking me to develop a three year plan for my department. We have had a five year plan that I have adjusted as we have gone along so the task shouldn’t be extremely hard. The plan even called for adjusting staff levels so expanding on that shouldn’t be too hard but it will. This might be a time for me to have second thoughts or an emotional response to writing myself out of the plan, but that is not the case.

The difficulty in completing this task, is that I’m not the person who should be making the plan. I am ready and eager to give away my excess reference and textbooks, pack my chosen few and clean out my desk for the new instructor. Someone else should be coming in to share in heading the department in new directions. I would happily write a plan to get that new person started knowing the core staffing would be in place to meet the needs of the student schedule for next year. No such plan is in place at this time. I can’t control the decision but how do I write a plan that asks what the department needs to complete its mission? Time for more than one version! While students are completing final exams, I shall be creating works of fiction. Stay tuned.

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