The Topical Intro
Before I make it all about me…
In a recent New York times article entitled “How To Get A Job At Google”, Thomas Friedman quoted Google’s senior vice president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, discussing the desirable attributes Google looks for in its prospective hires. Excluding coding skills, the tech giant values the following attributes:
- General cognitive ability. “It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.”
- Leadership. “…When faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because… to be an effective leader… you have to be willing to relinquish power.”
- Humility. “Your end goal is, ‘What can we do together to problem-solve?’ ‘I’ve contributed my piece, and then I step back.’ Without humility, you are unable to learn.”
- Ownership. “It’s feeling the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, to step in…”
In referencing this, I risk both wasting your time, and coming off as anything but humble, so I’ll get to the precarious point: When I read this, I felt like he was talking about me.
I know, I know… I’m sure everyone would, right? “I’m a bright, humble leader that takes responsibility while practicing effortless deference.” I can’t roll my eyes hard enough. Maybe it’s accurate self-assessment, or maybe it’s a bit of distorted self-image, I dunno… Instead of defending myself, I’ll just move on!
The short version
I could (and would) rattle on about what the last 15 years of my life have taught me, but I thought better of that, and opted to go the interactive visual route.
Take a minute, pour yourself a drink, and peruse the last decade and a half of my life with your mouse. Mouse over icons to reveal the life events – some of which are clickable for actual content (against my better judgement, I think). Sometimes I look at it and feel like I’ve packed a lot in. Other times, I wonder what I did with all of the time.
It’s been almost 10 years since I graduated from college, momentarily considered trying to make ends meet working on film crews, and then quickly opted for a bill-paying day job working for a great boss with a great co-worker in the in-house large-format print shop within an “experiential marketing agency”. In the years since, I’ve had the opportunity to chase after, dabble in, tinker with, and try my hand at many different hobbies, passions, projects and endeavors – all made possible by the flexibility, understanding, and resources provided by my work situation. And for that, I truly am grateful.
But I’ve reached the point where I can no longer justify granting 40 hours a week to a job that does little to challenge me or fulfill me. So begins my quest to find a career that is both challenging and fulfilling.
A Character Sketch
Through the lens of some notable psychologists…
I think I’ve always relished self-discovery, and in much the same way, I have a deep appreciation for how statistics can often reveal hidden truths. Also, charts! As a blasphemous three-way marriage, I present this personality profile page. Mouse over the teeny pie charts at the bottom to reveal the segment labels, and click to learn more about any of the elements.
Beyond what can be quantified by personality tests and temperament assessments, I also have a deep-seated passion for the groan-inducing concept of “making a difference”. And if that wasn’t cloying enough, I was recently pressed to craft a vision statement for myself (no pressure, right?), and came up with this: “I want to turn hearts towards virtuosity, and inspire influential change through earnestly compelling and authentically engaging appeals to altruism.”
Buuuuuuuut I also want a new
In what, you say? I’m not sure, to be honest.
I tried to find my “hedgehog” recently, but struggled to find that elusive combination of my passions, skills, and marketability. You can probably glean my passions from that gooey aforementioned vision statement – virtuosity, inspiring change, turning hearts, altruism and all that… You know, the big money-makers. But what are my skills?
Well, I’m one of those annoying people that refuses to claim any one “trade” or “profession”, despite having noodled around in various disciplines. Part of this is because I don’t feel like I’ve started a career as anything, but it’s also because I pride myself in my discernment and good taste, and by my own standards, I feel like I lack too much polish to be considered truly professional at any of the following…
- I’m not a graphic designer… but I do that a lot.
- I’m not a writer… but I can do that.
- I’m not a photographer… but I can do that.
- I’m not any kind of audio or video “guy”… but I can do that.
- I’m not a musician… but I fake it okay at times.
- I’m not a carpenter… but I like building stuff.
- I’m not a web developer… but I’m slowly learning to speak that language. Slowly.
You get the idea. I don’t list this out as a humblebrag – quite the contrary. I would always prefer to work with others in these fields that are far more talented than me, whose work I appreciate much more than my own. If my shallow versatility grants me anything, it’s the ability to be well-versed enough to communicate with those specialists in each of these fields – to really understand the techniques employed, the time required, the challenges, and the solutions. And in my limited experience, I find that they tend to appreciate that, because no one likes taking orders from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about.
So when I think about what I want to do, I realize that, ultimately, I’m probably focused more on the where and with who than I am on the what.
Bringing It Home
And finding a home…
Which brings me to the point, I suppose… I’m ready for something new, somewhere new, with someone new.
I’m ready to be utilized.
I’m ready to be challenged.
I’m ready to be consulted, and to collaborate.
I’m ready to lead.
And to follow.
And to learn.
And to teach.
I’m tired of hitting “Print”.
I’m ready to hit “Create”. And not just in my free time. Every working hour, of every working day.
My hope is that, if you’re reading this, you might be able to play a part in helping me find that home – that utility, that challenge, that consultation and collaboration. That creation button.
If you think you might have a part for me to play, please, by all means, let me know.
Or, if you just want to talk about some of this stuff, I do that way too well. Let me know.
In any case, if you’re reading this now, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your time.