[Latin curriculum vtae, the race of life : curriculum, course + vtae, genitive of vta, life.]
Last week, Monday July 2nd to be exact, I retired my curriculum vitae (c.v.); it was holding me back.Â Tying me to a specific course when I want to be something different.Â Â In the “the race of life” I found myself going around and around a carefully circumscribed indoor track, when I wanted to be off running trails.
I’m not advocating c.v. retirement for everyone.Â For those of you out there just beginning your careers, emerging, or mid-career professionals.Â It’s important that you keep your resume up-to-date and thoroughly proofread and error free.Â Â My resume has not been relegated to the circular file. Â I will regularly update publications and experience because a c.v. is like a passport or any kind of identification.Â It’s a necessity.Â Often someone needs it prior to a speaking engagement, for a grant, or in the case of teaching, so my employers have done their due diligence and can thus prove I am who I say I am, and have done what I say I have done.Â But my current backward-lookingÂ C.V. is not me.
This year I intend to visualize my career path as a forward-looking board game, a variant of chutes and ladders with more ladders than chutes.Â Â Maybe I’ll even start in the middle of the board and see if I can see which trails led to chutes and which led to ladders earlier in my career and to identify moments when I was running in circles.
Pattisue Plumer, a U.S. Olympian distance runner of my generation has said, “Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.”
So, I’m walking away from the curriculum vitae, picking up some speed, and headed for new trails.