Recently I applied for a part time position that inspired me. It's a position that would complement my daily teaching job since the day job and part-time evening job would support each other with good information, learning, and share.
As I applied for the job and became more and more interested in the position, I was met with the need to put together an application packet. It's been a long time since I had to put together such an official packet including resume and references.
I keep my eportfolio up to date for conferences, grants, and other opportunities I'm interested in. It's easy to update the eportfolio on an ongoing basis, and it's easy to link presentations, videos, blog posts, and other pertinent information to the online file.
Yet it's been a while since I collected references. I hate to trouble the busy people I work with to write a reference, yet I don't mind writing references for colleagues and students and do so often. Also when you need to ask for a reference it begs the question, "Are you reference ready?"
As I reached out to colleagues and leaders for response, that question played in my mind . . . reference ready. . .reference ready! As I thought about it, I realized that it's good to think about that whenever you work with colleagues or leaders because if you use respect, work hard, collaborate, and aim to please, you'll be reference ready. On the other hand, if you're always debating, challenging, critiquing, and arguing, you may not be as reference ready as others who are much more pleasant members of the team.
Hence, I pass this along to all of my PLN out there. You never know when an opportunity that inspires you or a need to change jobs will come along, and when that happens you'll want to be reference ready. Don't you agree?