Maybe "shortening stride" is kind of a bad term. Try to hit with more of a midfoot strike, and keep your bodyweight over your foot. I'm probably doing a bad job of describing it, but the idea is that if you heel strike, all the impact is flowing back into your body and hurting you, regardless of cushioning. Pose running is one of the "new" big things on that front, and, although I've previously trashed it, I have to swallow my pride and say it works. (www.posetech.com)
As for minimalist shoes, it's almost impossible to run wrong when it hurts like hell if you do, and those shoes make it hurt if you're wrong. I've gotten faster with them, I'm planning on doing a 50 or 100 miler in them sometime soon, and probably faster than I've done in the past, and hopefully less painful.
Bottom line, do what works for you, and seriously, since your upcoming job demands running, don't live with shin pain, because you definitely don't have to.