Note to self: those who dwindle
I’ve realized that maybe it’s not that I am asking the wrong questions; perhaps I am asking the wrong people to journey with me on a thoughtful dialogue that they haven't packed for.
I strive to ask intelligent questions with the intent to delve into a conversation of substance. A conversation that vacates the mundane of our day-to-day normalcy to stimulate creative thinking, challenge, and recognition of one’s existence. When I propose questions, express thoughts, and ideas my anticipation of delving into a caliber dialogue would often go unmet. I’ve realized that maybe it’s not that I am asking the wrong questions; perhaps I am asking the wrong people to journey with me on a thoughtful dialogue that they haven’t packed for. On the one hand, you can see someone’s potential, and on the other, there is the reality that they, themselves, didn’t define that which you hold in the other. …
Recently a question was proposed to me, which left me deeply pondering for a few days. The question was, “What value do you believe you offer the world?” I took my time (for the first time in a long while) to respond to such a great question! This is my response:
What value do you believe you offer the world?
I contribute value to the world and now to my life’s work through my desire to make those I speak with feel seen and necessary. Through the medium in which I feel the most alive, dialog.
I hope this quick piece helps you define your “framework” to navigate how you pursue new job opportunities.
Grab a piece of paper, draw three lines down the middle, and draw a line across the top, making it like a “t.” On the far left side, write “role/experience”; in the middle, “fulfilling/significant,” and on the right side, “skills/Learnings,” like such:
This T-chart aims to extrapolate what made the role or experience fulfilling and what skills you attained. Having your resume handy will be a great help for this exercise. If you’re starting, this will be all the more exciting! …
Don’t just tell people who you are, show them!
In short, I created an ideal employer persona and a video resume during the unexpected COVID-19 pandemic. My focus was to find some hands-on experience within UX opportunities while I find content to learn more about UX. With no money, no job, and no experience, I did what I knew best — ingenuity! Don’t just tell people who you are; show them!
Below is the persona I created. The persona is based on my personal values, goals, challenges, and aspirations. Followed by the persona is my video resume. I hope this inspires you to do the same. …
Then, an opportunity I never could’ve imagined arrived in my inbox.
There I was sitting Crisscrossed apple sauce on the front row listening to Ms. Cunniff read to a room full of thoughtful second graders. She read each character with their unique voiceovers, showing us every picture; our eyes stayed glued to examine these peculiar characters. At that moment, planted in the soil of my soul was my love for storytelling. It was the feeling of experiencing an experience that captivated me. I recall being at home as I kid, sitting in the living, looking through family photo albums, and just staring at these images. I was in disbelief that people were on this little piece of paper without falling off! On the back were dates and the names of those in the photo. Again, planted in the soil of my soul was the love of storytelling. …
They’ll decide at some point but will more than likely reject you via email without having seen your beautiful essence. Let’s change that!
I had this crazy idea in 2016 to create a video that would depict my personality and share it with employers. At the time, I was incredibly insecure, full of self-doubt, and felt my skills were inadequate. “It won’t work. It’s unprofessional. It’ll create biases. You don’t have good ideas.” So naturally, I trashed the idea.
Fast forward to March of 2020; I decide to pivot from an administrative role to a more creative human-centric opportunity. COVID-19 happens! Everything comes to a screeching halt! I was determined to make things work, so I applied to every marketing role I found on LinkedIn. To this day, I have over 20 rejection letters flagged in my email to remind myself that N.O. means the next opportunity. Months have passed since I’ve submitted my letter of resignation on March 27. I’ve driven Uber, Instacart, and I’ve even tried being a server (lasted for a week). I’ve had creative freelance opportunities that helped me learn about my skills, but still no callbacks. Here I am thinking to myself, “This sucks! I know I’m not lazy; I’m a go-getter! I haven’t found the right creative opportunity. I haven’t found the right people.” At the time, I didn’t know what creative opportunity I was referring too. …
Nod your head if you’ve ever worked on a collaborative project, and ego-driven contributors stifled your creative flow. You were excited to dish out your ideas, but you were getting “that vibe” from the group. That “you’re ideas are low-key, trash” vibe. You’re getting the looks and the short responses. So you slowly begin to checkout from the project. But, you keep dishing out ideas and pushing through your emotions, and you whisper to yourself, “I’m creative because David Kelley said so.”
Those types of collaborative experiences suck!
Working with others can be challenging and mentally exhausting. As a young creative, I’ve found this to be true; that many creatives desire spaces to create, make mistakes, and, most importantly, try. Just without the “vibe.” Fortunately, in a graciously weird way, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in the way traditional creatives collaborate. …