I recently received a voicemail literally out of the blue from a former colleague. When I later listened to the message, I learned she was calling to do a reference check for a person she was looking to hire for a position in her department and that I had been listed as one of this person’s references. Here’s the rub: I had no idea this person was job searching nor that I was being listed as one of their references. In fact, I haven’t had contact with this person since I left my previous institution.
Very early on in my career in student affairs I had a really terrible supervisor (who will remain nameless). He was a “good ole’ boy” in the purest sense, catering not to his staff but to the upper administration (nearly all men) at the college. He undermined my role as the primary advisor to a group of students frequently: sometimes he provided only providing lukewarm support of my decisions and other times he blatantly advising students to take a course of action in direct opposition to my previous advisement. It probably comes as no shock that I moved on from that position as quickly as possible. There is nothing worse than having an unsupportive supervisor.