It’s that dreadful mix of confusion, angst, and often a pressure associated with dwindling time. But sometimes, frustration creates the perfect storm for invention.
In two words, my frustration was stemming from getting a job. These two words are only the tip of the iceberg, though. Implicit in getting a job, one also has to:
• Do some soul searching into her interests
• Know herself so well she can prove why she’s different
• Figure out what companies she loves, and why
• And then start getting a job….
“What is your ‘T’?” one strategist asked me over an informational interview.
Breakfast, sometimes peppermint, oh and Rooibos, I thought before she clarified, “your broad and narrow interests.”
She wasn’t the first person to imply that saying I wanted to be a strategist was a fairly vanilla description of my career goals. I had already gone against the grain deciding I wanted to be a strategist within a degree plan focused on creative, media and account service tracks. Unfortunatly, my differentiation in college could only take me so far in the working world.
Being one to like a project, I decided to quite literally answer the interviewer’s question: What are my broad and narrow interests? Or in other words, where is the sweet spot within strategy that makes me the most excited?
My broad interests, organization, strategy and design, are things that I appreciate and find inspiration from. My narrow interests, research, strategy and expression, are the things I’m rather good at, and thus love to do.
Right now my expertise is within brand planning. I can map out a campaign’s big idea, investigate the competitive landscape, design research objectives, and organize findings. This discipline is not somewhere I see myself forever.
Someday, I would love to be an experience strategist, or, in other words, a co-inventor with designers. I’ve always believed that beautiful expereinces sparks a mix of excitement and calmness, but, overall, intrigues one to know more. That’s why I believe in the power of good art, design and UX (I’m thinking beyond websites to other realms like architecture, events, or urban planning).
I also have a fascination with motivation and aspirations. What do people really want and why do they do what they do in pursuit of these desires? I often find myself listening to podcasts about behavioral economics or reading books on the art of persuasion.
This brings me to my last realization: I’m a people pleaser. I want to predict and invent what people want, even if they don’t know what they want until they discover it.
So what do you get when you mix a design-obsessed strategist with side passions in motivation and innovation? I guess I’ve predicted what my next post will be (Mission Impossible to be continued).