Online Teaching Blog

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The Rewards of Being Prepared

The Rewards of Being Prepared

by Carolyn Burgess, Macc, Ba
May 04, 2016

This month began with a feeling of accomplishment; and it’s ending with a sense of gratitude and achievement. Earlier in April, I had finally secured a complete set of documents. This put me in a great position. No more struggling to piece together information for each and every application. I was well prepared and ready to submit applications as leads became available. My job at this point, was to apply, apply, and apply.

Well, just as I spoke about balance with job, life, and family before, in the middle of my application frenzy, family life took front and center stage for me. It was mid-April and yes, we were packing-up and taking a good old-fashioned, nine-hour road trip. This was a trip that was absolutely necessary; however, we were also determined to make it fun too. Still, this was going to be a five-day long trip. How in the world was I going to be gone for five days! Okay, stay calm. I can make this work. We are living in the age of technology and I was determined to continue to be productive on this trip, while at the same time, getting in some enjoyment. So, I carefully packed the laptop and all other necessary essentials into the car. I just couldn’t leave all of this work at home, five days without work - no way! So off we went with laptop in tow.


The evening we arrived was wonderful! It was great to be out of the car after such a long drive. The Florida weather was beautiful and the hotel was absolutely terrific. The most I can say about the laptop for that evening was well, the connection in the room worked perfectly to find the local accommodations and attractions. We were soon out of the room and finding our way around the city in no time. I mean, after all, this was our first evening in town and it was going to be the only one we had to ourselves. We were determined to make the most of it. As for the work and the laptop, I’m extremely thankful that I brought everything with me. They just didn’t see a lot of activity on that particularly evening.

The next day, however, was a completely different story. I woke up bright and early and began to work. It was a hectic day, and as usual, I had several assignments that needed to be completed. As the afternoon unfolded my priorities shifted rather quickly. After being referred for a subject matter expert/course development position, I was then directly and quickly contacted by the university. The project manager was looking to fill this position immediately. After we spoke over the phone for several minutes, I received a follow-up email, which requested several pieces of information by close of business the same day. I was given just a few hours to provide my curriculum vitae, transcriptions, and a cover letter, which needed to detail why I would make a good candidate for this position. This is truly a great example of how important it is to have these documents ready and available at all times.

Needless to say, I jumped on this request. In under an hour, I had polished my cover letter to the specific nature of this position, reading and re-reading to ensure it sounded as perfect as perfect could get. I drafted my email and attached all of the documents. I hit the send button, crossed my fingers and toes, and then prayed. Well, I was told I would hear back from the university by Wednesday and this was a Friday. So, I’m curious. Shouldn’t there be a no tormenting over the weekend rule? This does not make for a calming vacation. It does, however, add to the excitement level as we continued our weekend with family and friends. Before I knew it, Monday had arrived and it was time to make the journey back home. I had enjoyed my time away, but I was definitely ready to return and I was anxiously awaiting the news back on this position.

Well, as promised, on Wednesday I was notified that I had been successfully selected to work on the project. This was so very exciting for me! My first offer had finally come through. This is fantastic experience for me and I’m excited to take my first steps forward in this process. Being prepared truly paid off in this case. I was on vacation when I received this call and several states from my home. Nevertheless, I had everything I needed at my fingertips to generate and supply the needed materials for this request. Furthermore, in this situation, the documents had to be provided by close of business on the same day, which only allowed a window of just a few hours for me. Being prepared and always having those documents available is truly an important lesson I learned from this experience. You just never know when that call might come for you. I was so thankful I took my trusty laptop with me. And I’m so thankful to be a workaholic…at least this time anyway. It truly saved me!