One of my goals for 2015 was to update my Curriculum Vitae – or CV – an expanded resume of my published work and professional experiences and accomplishments.
In January, I started listing every single book, short story, essay, editorial, article and review I’ve ever published. It’s an impressive list, running to fifteen pages of fine print. Then I started in on all the courses I’ve taught over a long career as a freelancer, teaching in a myriad of venues to students of all ages and circumstances. Organization eluded me, and I abandoned the task – until last week. Just as we turned the corner into the fourth quarter, I needed an abbreviated CV for a submission: five pages to summarize my professional life.
It’s now done.
There are at least two lessons here: One is the importance of setting goals for the year and periodically reviewing them. A recent joke on Facebook reminded of what can happen if we set goals and ignore them. It read, My goal this year is to lose ten pounds; only fifteen to go. While it’s helpful to set goals by the Month, Week, Day, a quarterly check-in is also a good idea.
The other lesson is about the CV itself. The friend who strongly urged me to write one in January pointed out that even though the task was large and included a lot of digging into files and reviewing work diaries, it would be well worth it. With a complete CV, she explained, one can always pick and choose what to include in the shorter versions that are often requested with applications for residencies, speaking engagements, teaching gigs and contests.
Thanks to the work I did in January, I was able to pull out the writing credits most appropriate to this application. But, because I never finished the teaching portion of the CV in January, I had to do some digging for course titles and dates in short order to meet a deadline. Under pressure, I figured out a good organizational model.
It now remains for me complete the comprehensive list of courses I’ve taught, which involves going back to the beginning of time through file boxes in the attic. Due to other deadlines, I won’t get to this until December, but I’ve already inked it into my planner, so I’ll get it done, even if it’s the last goal I meet this year.