Stranger Days #38: 1st Day at a New Job

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Welcome to stranger days--my blog series exploring daily life, challenges in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just sharing insights or thoughts about how to make it through these days.  

Well, today's kinda a big day for me. As I mentioned in a post from last week, I left my job at Brandeis University and after a few days off (you know, to relax in the house because I haven't gotten to spend much time here in the last two months--ha!), I start today as Educational Programs Manager at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. And I'm really REALLY excited.  
A sign for 23 Everett Street that includes the different offices including the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society

There's three big reasons for that excitement.

The Center Itself:  I've been reading much about and from the center over the last few years. I've joked that probably a third to half the books I read each year are books that are by authors that come through there (or likely could). Getting to work at a place where the focus of your work is much of what you have been thinking about intellectually is a pretty cool opportunity. From their programs, the topics they explore, and their fundamental mission, it feels like I have landed at the right place for me.

Pivot: While the position contains many of the skills I have, it is also a bit of pivot from my work directly in course development with faculty over the last decade. It wasn't something I was thinking about doing but the position's skillset and the center's focus did mean I've be moving away from traditional instructional design. I will miss some of it but so much of this work will still be using the skills developed there and also, I'll still be working with a wide variety of smart, engaging, and caring folks; so it's a pivot away from formal instructional design but still working with folks to make learning meaningful.  

Promotion: The position also represents a promotion in terms of title and workload. I'm excited about this as well in that I have the opportunity to be more involved at an organization's strategy and work with a team of amazing folks to make the experiences that the center offers all the more engaging and meaningful.  

Of course, not all of it is exciting. Making a career transition in the midst of a pandemic and ensuing economic tsunami definitely feels uncomfortable. It's enough for some to shelter-in-place in their current job and not make a leap. I can't say such a thought hadn't occurred to me several times over the past two months as this has been in motion.  After all, being in instructional design in higher education is likely to be an increasingly booming industry.  

But if I didn't take this position, I would have been disappointed in myself for missing an opportunity to stretch out in new directions and work at a place that represents so much of my intellectual interests. 
Lance standing in front of the Berkman Klein Center's building.
I showed up for work but no one was home!
Kidding! I took this shot on Saturday.
So, here I am--on my first day at a new job. I definitely didn't think I would be "going to work" in the same room I've been doing much of my work for the last two rooms (second bedroom in our apartment), but here I am.  

Take care. Be careful. Be care-filled.  Welcome to stranger days.


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