I had a case of looming post-grad uncertainty concerns.
You know—that heightened mix of anticipation, excitement, and pressure associated with dwindling time. To put it bluntly, it was time to find my first “real” job and not just any job. The pressure was on to source a dream job that would catapult me out of Austin, breath new life into my curious soul, and be very me.
Job hunting is hard enough as is. Where was I going to find a position of such a tall order? I needed a plan. So I sat at my childhood desk and wrote myself a list:
- Do some soul searching
- Know herself so well you can prove why you’re different
- Figure out what companies you loves, and why
- And then start getting a job….
I figured I’d start my soul searching by doubling down on a recent interview question: “What is your ‘T’?” one strategist asked me over the phone.
‘breakfast, sometimes peppermint, oh and rooibos’ I joked to myself before she clarified, “by that I mean tell me about 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 gone against the grain deciding I wanted to be a strategist rather than choosing the more popular creative, media and account tracks. Unfortunately, my differentiation in college seemed to only take me so far in the working world.
I said something that day, but wrote down the question for later.
Two days later, I looked back at my notes from our call ready to tackle this question once again: What are my broad and narrow interests?
My broad interests: Hmm…organization (from architectural blueprints to biomimicry) and design are things that I appreciate and find inspiration from. Now for my narrow interests…I’d say, research, strategy and self expression are a few of the things I have the most experience in.
I can map out a campaign’s big idea, investigate the competitive landscape, design research objectives, and organize findings, but 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 experiences sparks a mix of excitement and calmness, but, overall, intrigue 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? … tbd.