#14 in my series of Lessons Learned blog posts
Don’t be afraid to say yes; it doesn’t always mean you’ll get more work.
2010 was the year of saying yes … but not necessarily getting more work as a result. This was unexpected for me. I’m accustomed to responding to numerous requests from senior administrators, department heads, faculty members … in my pre-creative services life, they were looking for something web- and technology-related, and they came to me for help. Yes, we can design a web app to respond to that business need. Yes, we’ll build a tool that generates simple web forms. Yes, we’ll lead a web redesign.
In the past: yes = project begins (i.e., more work)
Perhaps it’s the nature of communication and creative work. I’m finding that on more than one occasion, I say yes and then I wait. Is communication a lower priority? When your department is overloaded, is communication the thing that can slide? Is it the effort that you can delay until next academic year?
Note: I can’t say I follow up with the requester in all instances. But depending on who I’ve said yes to, I do sometimes check in and ask about getting started on that creative work we agreed to do. I decided many, many years ago that if I waited for people to give me what I needed to get something done, I’d never accomplish anything.
It doesn’t go without saying: if you have a reputation for saying “yes” on your campus that translates into being viewed as responsive and action-oriented. These qualities are rare in higher ed. So you’ll stand out. A good thing.