9 (career) lessons I’ve learned in 2009

9.  If you’re offering a brand-new course in a somewhat new-to-you subject, you might want to consider using a textbook.  Even if all the existing textbooks suck, something is better than nothing.

8.  When traveling to a conference where you are giving a talk or two, do not forget the video adapter for your Mac.  Alternately, make sure you check your PDF before you give your talk to make sure that all of the slides converted properly.

7.  Never underestimate the power of a well-designed rubric.

6.  Nothing will ever be perfect.  Get it to “good enough” and get it out the door, pronto!

5.  The things (tasks, confrontations, responsibilities) that cause you the most discomfort also provide the greatest areas for growth.  Discomfort can beget opportunity.

4.  Talk to everyone at conferences.  You never know where your next collaboration, or collaborator, or great idea, may come from.

3.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness—rather, it’s a sign of strength and self-awareness.

2.  If you’re working on a big initiative with someone you don’t know very well, sit down and lay out expectations, responsibilities, etc. clearly and concretely before you begin.  Make sure everyone’s working with the same information and assumptions before moving forward.

1. Being authentically yourself, and true to what you believe, may not always be comfortable or easy, but will lead you to a place of success and peace.

What lessons have you learned this year?