I need some time to thing about it
This is probably the type of post that you probably shouldn’t write at 4AM in a bus when you couldn’t sleep but since normaly write stuffs help you clear your mind let do it any way.
In the last six years I more or less live in a bubble (or cacoon) due my undergraduate – life in academia is very different from the life outside it. In the last six months, after I graduate, my life has been a roller coaster (you are hearing that from someone that never ride in a roller coaster) with many changes in a short time.
Somo of the recent events at my personal, professional and volunteer life make me think about expectations and how they are managed. So I decided to write a post about that.
I can’t share all the events that happen here because some of them involve violate the privacy of others.
My first time ...
... hearing about expectations and how important is to manage them was at this talk, Open Source for Newcomers and the People Who Want to Welcome Them, by Shauna Gordon-McKeon at PyCon 2015. The talk is great and although the focus is on free/open source software communities you will learn a lot watching it. If you have time, please stop reading this, go watch Shauna’s talk and later back to this post.
For me the two more important points at Shauna’s talk is (1) make your expectations clear from the begin and (2) try to fulfill the expectations of others. If you could do this two things (what is impossible in some cases) your life will be a lot better.
How much time do you need?
Jumping to the begin of my roller coaster life something happened and I asked for some time to think about because in most of the cases you need time to think. After a good night of sleep, when you need to think clear about something always take a good night of sleep, I tried to contact that person that I promised one reply by phone and email but he/she didn’t answer the phone and my email probably went to him/her spam box. One week later he/she emailed me, probably a lot upset, requesting a reply that I thought was already delivery.
I also was at the other side of the table in the last few months waiting for a reply. The first few days waiting for a reply was the worse where I check my in box and missed calls very often. But after 2-3 days my expectation get low and I could back to normal.
Lesson learned: Never trust eletronic communication forms and always try to contact someone more than twice.
Last month I was in charge to lead the selection of groups for Software Carpentry Instructor Training on December. We delivery a blog post that was amended and a second post with clarifications. After the selection we delivery another blog post with explanations about the selection since many applicants received disappointing news that didn’t match their expectations.
Lesson learned: Provide all the related information at the begin.
I only learned a few lessons so far and there is a lot more to learn. I think that I need to find a good book from the “self-help” bookshelf and be better prepared for the next inversion in my life.
If you have suggestion of one book, please contact me.
And I’m very grateful to everyone that helped me learn some great lessons in the last few months.