The Waiting Room

This could take a while...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

One Poor Correspondent

Posted by Seeking Solace |

How many of you use LinkedIn? I don't think many academics do, except for the part about being listed there. There are other networking sites for academics, but I think the premise is still the same. Part of LinkedIn is writing recommendations for former colleagues. It's similar to writing a traditional recommendation, except that it is viewable by the public. There are also endorsements, where a pop-up will appear, asking if Person X is versed in Y skill-set. You can click "Endorse" if you agree.There is a bit of a quid-pro-quo going on here. You recomend me, and I will recomend you. You endorse me...

You get the idea.

Since leaving Career College and Tech College, I've been flooded with email and face-to-face requests for recommendations and endorsements. I am happy to oblige for those who ask. Unfortunately, I am way behind on responding to the numerous requests.

Like writing any letter of recommendation, it takes time to write a response. I am not the type of person who just phones in a recommendation. I really do take the time to think about the skills and talents of the person I am recommending. Also, this means I need to be in the right frame of mind to write these types of things.

I am not ashamed to admit that my own laziness is a big part of the problem. It is hard to writing a recommendation for someone who already has a job when you are looking for one. Of course, there is the quid-pro-quo that I mentioned, but that is kinda hard to reconcile when you feel like crap about your own circumstance. Sure, there are folks who are in the same position, but excuse me while I feel a little sorry for myself and be a little narcissistic.

I know...I hear the tiny violin too.

I feel horrible about being a poor correspondent. I feel bad that I did not live up to a promise. So, I get depressed about that, which only magnifies my own depression about my own job situation. I keep telling myself that I will get to it, but that time never comes.

I've decided to give myself a deadline. I do much better when I have a deadline hanging over my head. Classes at PhD Uni are finished on December 3rd. All of my deliverables are due before Thanksgiving. Final grades at HBCU are due on December 15th. I not have any additional distractions from December 15th forward, so that will be the week that I will catch up on my correspondence. I need to complete at least two a day until December 19th. That will put a huge dent in my backlog.  I've put this on my Google Calendar, so that it will pop up and remind me of my commitment.

That will get me back on track to being a better correspondent.