Last night I had a meeting which I’ve been waiting for for some time: and it turned out to be a great experience for all the participants, I think. Lots of connections were made, and potential connections for other students in the future. Maybe I’ll even have the chance to participate in something related to it – I’m certainly working towards that, and if it comes off – well, I’ll be pleased as punch.
My book proposal, which has drafts dating all the way back until 2013, looks like it might finally be approaching something like done. And, after a convention at the weekend, I sent off some emails to some of the speakers, and I’ve started to get responses.
The con and the meeting in particular are examples of how beneficial it can be to make something of the connections and ideas you find in unexpected, non-academic contexts. Whilst both the people I met last night have connections to universities, I didn’t meet either of them in an academic context. One I met through my work at Leicester Hackspace, and the other through a project I did with Enterprise and Business at UoL. Having already spoken to one about a potential project, and then meeting the other, who had a resource which might facilitate such a project, the pieces began to fall into place. And the con – well, it was supposed to be sort of a holiday, but who could have expected to find two more professional museum people at a Geekfest? I didn’t, but I was thrilled when I did, and thrilled that they were presenting, and I had the chance to email and to ask them questions.
I think what I’m saying is that the Feng Shui of your career isn’t Feng Shui at all: the order and placement of things isn’t necessarily predetermined by external factors, but is at least in part something you make yourself.
Boogie-woogie as a music is defined by dance – and wild dance at that. By a syncopation which was, when it first began to appear, outside the normal boundaries of music. It was a music of freedom, free expression.
So, even if you’re out of luck on the job front, at any point in time, there is still space to make your own world a little more interesting, a little brighter. Sometimes, you have to move outside the traditional academic world – and doing so doesn’t mean that you lose academic opportunities. Academia, after all, isn’t about where you are, but how you think. It’s about turning your brain on its side, and looking through your situation with right-angled eyes.