Ciao, CIO

Ciao, CIO

Featuring Linda Kennedy as <i>The Goodbye Girl</i>

Whew. Deep breath. Looking at this blank page I just realized that the next 500 or so words I write will be my last ones for this magazine because I’m moving on. It’s been in the works for a while — four years, in fact, since my husband informed me he’d done the sums and suggested we could retire in 2008 and not have to worry about eating cat food at some point. Sounds good to me, I said.

Then, at the two-year mark, I had a double crisis of confidence about the whole thing, which left me somewhere in no-man’s — or in this instance no-woman’s — land. On the one hand, as a friend facing her husband’s imminent retirement had once confided: “I married him for better or worse, but not for lunch.” (Hmmm, perhaps another year of work wouldn’t be so bad . . .)

Yet I also knew, with plenty of time on his hands, my better half would inevitably hear the sirens’ call of Bunnings Warehouse, load up big on power tools and embrace DIY projects with gusto. Given his track record of DIY results, I knew if that happened, someone was going to use a chainsaw for all the wrong reasons. Hey, don’t judge me. You didn’t have to live through the Bose installation. (Hmmm, I don’t want to spend my golden years doing a real-life version of Prisoner. Maybe it’s better to stick with the original plan . . .)

So as 2007 dawns I’m in the middle of a bad play, doing a major fence-sit, when my own personal deus ex machina happens (and that’s more appropriate than you might think). Two years earlier I’d launched the local chapter of the CIO Executive Council, which had about 80 members. The executive director was leaving and I decided that, while continuing to edit CIO, I would take the Council under my wing with an eye to seeing how much I enjoyed doing it.

And I enjoyed it very much indeed. So about six months ago I decided that I would in fact keep working, but would hive off the magazine after this issue. There are two great things about this decision.

First, nurturing and growing the Council is a logical extension of what I saw as the magazine’s mandate: advocacy for the CIO role. I also believe that, while the magazine made its mark, the Council as an influential peer forum can actually effect change — from helping to persuade young men and woman to think about IT careers to being a powerful voice for the CIO community.

The second great thing is that I get a fair chunk of my life back. Editing this magazine has consumed great swags of my time, and a deadline is a demanding mistress — well, master. More normal work hours and a flexible work schedule, which allows for telecommuting, also let me keep a close eye on my budding Bob the Builder.

So that’s it — I’m leaving but not going far. It’s been a dream run and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. My e-mail address remains the same so stay in touch. In fact, if you’re in the mood for a chat, drop me a note because I now have time for a coffee.

Meanwhile, I think Ciao is the best way to close . . .

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