According to Wikipedia:
Disappointment is the feeling of dissatisfaction that follows the failure of expectations to manifest. Similar to regret, it differs in that a person feeling regret focuses primarily on the personal choices that contributed to a poor outcome, while a person feeling disappointment focuses on the outcome itself. It is a source of psychological stress.
I recently suffered both disappointment and stress after realizing a new career direction created an outcome that lead me to the decision to resign from the new position. With over 15 years working in a strict environment of structured policy & procedures I took a position working for a start-up company experiencing the growing pains of fast-paced and head-spinning expansion with little structure and plenty of grey-areas in each working day. I don’t regret the choices I made to leave both careers – having experienced the two extremes of rigid structure to greater fluidity. Experiencing the two extremes helped me quickly read the signs and realize my lack of being an adrenalin-junky made the job an unrealistic one for a slower-paced, detail-oriented and cautious individual like myself. There are always knowledge differences for each person – and each person brings these differences into each chosen career. Sometimes our knowledge differences work in a job environment and sometimes they don’t.
It was not my inability to use my knowledge skills and previous work experience to effectively and diligently complete the expected fast-paced and unexpected daily tasks that I was assigned, but the stress that I was recently experiencing, due to non-work related and personal tasks assigned to me that interfered with my expected work, made me realize I was beginning to feel disappointment when the failure of expectations began to manifest in the new career – not to mention how my own stress was creating stress for my husband at the end of each work day! (It also reminded me of a previous blog I wrote about 3 types of knowledge).
This is the knowledge of disappointment – and like any knowledge, it’s an important part of overall knowledge for social benefit. The knowledge of disappointment teaches us important lessons about expectations and making realistic choices. The knowledge of disappointment also helps us learn the difference between academic, theoretical, speculative or notional knowledge and actual first-hand, empirical or observed knowledge as the lived-out experience of knowledge itself.
Angie Hart, Academic Director of the Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP) at the University of Brighton UK, and colleagues Elizabeth Maddison & David Wolff refer to this as Modes of Knowledge. In their book Community-University Partnerships in Practice, they refer to academic knowledge as Mode 1 knowledge.
Mode 2 knowledge is “applied, problem-centred, transdicsiplinary, heterogeneious, hybrid, demand-driven, entrepreneurial, network-embedded” knowledge. The book states that a person (or institution) can never move beyond the first mode of abstract knowledge for creating partnerships for social benefit without acquiring the broader, second mode of experiential knowledge. The book also talks about further modes of knowledge to create more effective working partnerhsips – but suffice it to say…knowledge needs to be applied for social (and sometimes personal) benefit.
You never know until you’ve tried it.
Nothing ventured – nothing gained.
No regrets – just an ongoing learning experience.
Understanding this sometimes unpleasant aspect of knowledge is also an important part of Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) – underlying the important reason for KMb – to move knowledge into action, to go beyond theorizing about knowledge in an academic setting, reading about knowledge in a peer-reviewed journal or community blog to mobilizing knowledge – turning even disappointing knowledge into action for social benefit.
I may have experienced first-hand an aspect of Mode 2 knowledge – the knowledge of disappointment – yet I can mobilize this knowledge for the benefit of others as part of the process of Knowledge Mobilization. Ultimately, I learned another valuable lesson about myself, and by sharing this knowledge of disappointment – I hope others will benefit. For now, it looks like I’m back to being a digital researcher with more time towards being a KMb blogger.