Archive for August, 2007

I believe that to reach our full potential we need to find work that is challenging and satisfying, work that you can’t imagine not doing. I know, I know…that is a lot to ask for. Or is it? I mean, look at the amount of time you spend at work. For me, I can’t stand the thought of wasting that much of my life doing something I don’t love.

And while I’m not advocating that everyone should immediately quit a job they don’t love, I do council friends to ask yourself if you can find your bliss in your current work. If not, I urge you to begin designing your perfect job in your mind. Once you can clearly envision your dream job; you can begin to map out a realistic plan to make it happen. The first step is always seeing and believing.

As a manager, I love to coach and grow my colleagues. It gives me great joy to see them spread their wings and soar. Even when that means they leave. I can’t stand to see a caged bird.

So today, as one very talented developer, CJ Barker, leaves UT for Symantec, he reminded us of why people stay and why people leave. The original text is below. The text scratched out was added by my silly boss :)

Why People Stay (from Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em)

  1. Career growth, learning and development
  2. Exciting work and challenge
  3. Meaningful work, making a difference and contribution
  4. Great people
  5. Being a part of a team
  6. Good boss
  7. Recognition for work well done
  8. Fun on the job
  9. Autonomy, sense of control over my work
  10. Flexibility – for example, in work hours, dress code
  11. Money, Money, Money

Why People Leave (from Christian & Timbers study)

  1. Boredom or lack of challenge
  2. Limited opportunity for growth and advancement
  3. Lack of appreciation
  4. Low expectations and standards for the position
  5. Inferior / ineffective co-workers
  6. Lack of leadership or poor supervision
  7. Because they’re mean
  8. Because they don’t care

So, (looking you deep in the eyes), Do you love your job? if not, what are you going to do about it?

An awesome group of technology professionals gathered today at the Texas School for the Blind to kick off the 10th year of the Accessibility Internet Rally in Austin… people like Sharron Rush (executive director of Knowbility), Hugh Forrest (SXSW-interactive event directory and 2006 AIR Austin Chair) , Teenya Franklin (AIR program manager) Jim Thatcher and Jim Allen (judge brothers). The room was pulsating with a passion for making the web available to everyone. And surprises awaited discovery. You’d think after 10 years that it would just be “the same ole thing”, but let me assure you, it was anything but that. Here are just three things that everyone was buzzing about:

  • Tri-city Texas Shoot Out – Accessiblity Internet Rally with a new Twist:
    For the first time not only will teams be competing to build accessible, standards compliant web sites for local non-profits, but the web sites developed by local winners will also go on to compete in a statewide “shootout” to see who has built the most accessible web sites in Texas! Teams from Austin, Houston and San Antonio will vie for the Champions of Accessibility crown. Bring it on!
  • Amazing Assistive Technology:
    Imagine a camera (Zoom-Ex) that can instantly take the pages of a book and convert it to speech. The OCR on this device is so fast that every time I turned the page of the physical book, the device would begin reading the top of the new page to me, immediately! And I thought I had seen it all. Thanks to my friends, Marci Tamez and Jack Hickman from Crystal Vision, who help open my eyes to the latest and greatest in assistive technology. Now I need to get one of these babies on campus for our community to use!
  • Accessible Art Performance:
    I can’t wait for the upcoming event, “Arts: No Boundaries – Sight. Sound. Soul.” On Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at La Zona Rosa. The evening promises to be a multimedia and sensory experience with live music, visual artist capturing the sense of the music in real time on canvas, audio descriptions, open captioning and sign interpretations. This event will benefit VSA Arts of Texas and Knowbility.
  • I wish you could have been there to explore and discover all this with me. In fact, what are you waiting for? Head to Knowbility-AIR Austin and get involved. Remember

    “For most people, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”
    —President’s Council on Disability

Today I had lunch with a dear friend, John Slatin. Little did I know that today was his 1st Birthday.

About half-way through lunch our conversation went like this:

John: “Today is my second 1st Birthday”.

Glenda (clearly puzzled): “It is?”

John: “Yes, one year ago today I received my bone marrow transplant. So today is my re-birthday.”

(see John’s blog post from 8/22/2006, one year ago today.)

Hard to believe a year has passed. John is doing well. He is coming back this fall to campus to teach a class. And while there are still many challenges he faces, he remains ever so brave and full of hope and positive energy.

Reminds me of a quote from Richard Bach’s, “There’s No Such Place as Far Away

Gifts of tin and glass,
Wear out in a day
And are gone

While true friendship is a treasure that lasts forever.

i’ve found a new way to explore art museums. with ipod in hand, i head to my favorite muse. my plan is to experience one work of art…deeply. i listen for the work of art that is calling my name as i wander freely through the galleries. i know when i’m in the right place…it is as though time has stopped.

today, it happens in front of Anselm Kiefer’s Sterenfall (Falling Stars). i take a deep breath and sit on the floor in front of the piece. i instinctively reach for my ipod and select the album “The Earth is Not a A Cold Dead Place” by Explosions in the Sky.

for this moment, there is nothing in this world but Sterenfall, me and the music. i am in awe of the vastness of this piece. i find beauty, peace and courage washing over me.

i always find what i need in this space. here, i am home.

have you ever felt this way? what works of art call you to come rest a while in their company?

Cross-posted to the Blanton Blog.