I was going through my routine this morning, awoke, ran, about to have breakfast, but my computer turns on at 11am, so I stopped to check email. Some link opened my browser and here I am, faced with a plethora of options!
It’s like walking down the checkout isle at the grocery store and having all those shiny candy wrappers teasing the child-like part of your mind. Still on auto-pilot, I clicked on Google Reader.
Then I stopped. Wait a minute. I had all these plans and ambitions for the day. There’s a ton of stuff I have to do, including eat breakfast, and checking the latest news and information is more of a priority? Really? Chances are, it will diverge into an hour long browse / email / forward session.
I really think I’m much better off, since I’m not in the cutting news industry, to leave my feeds until the end of the day and treat it as a reward, not a necessity.
Here’s a little stanza regarding how I feel about the issue.
My book in the morning is like a cup of joe
Gets me up and ready and willing to go
Information Saturation is what I need
with over 1000 items on my RSS feedsTechnorati Tags: information overload, google reader, rss feeds, shiny
Joy of joys, I’ve found myself another full-time job. (Why oh why can’t I find fulfilling part-time work while I pursue larger objectives?) My fundamental idea here is to approach the situation as openly and honestly as possible, to avoid the mutual fallout 6 months in.
In every relationship in our lives, we have set expectations from ourselves and the other person. It’s what goes along with the label ‘friend’ , ‘boyfriend’, ‘girlfriend’, ‘wife’, ‘husband’, ‘boss’, and ‘employee’, is an inherent set of assumptions that governs both our behavior and our reaction to the behavior of others. There’s nothing much you can do to CHANGE these assumptions, as they seem to be pretty hard wired.
What you can do is to bring these assumptions to the table. Not during the interview, but after you’ve been offered the job, and ideally, before starting work. For instance:
My idea of being an employee involves working hard and being constantly challenged with a rising line of difficulty. I expect to be well compensated for my time and expertise, to be given the appropriate opportunities to learn and grow, and that any feedback regarding my work performance will be communicated instantly to me, instead of during a yearly review. I choose jobs based on being interesting and full of possibility.
My idea of being a boss involves providing leadership, then delegating decision-making authority and responsibility to the appropriate parties. I expect that people will do what they say they’re going to do, and to give them fair compensation for their work and dedication. I expect clear, honest and open communication regarding any progress, problems, questions, criticism or concerns. I choose employees based on how we get along and what they bring to the table in terms of what I do and don’t know about.
Do this exercise for yourself, and bring it to the table when starting your next job. I’m going to try this for myself today. I’ll let you know how it goes.
UPDATE: The meeting seemed to be very well received. Putting everything on the table helped me understand the challenges of the position. Basically, my boss needs to know when I don’t understand what he’s talking about, and not to be a mindless yes-man. I can do that. I’m the most critical employee you’ve ever seen.
So, I’m going to follow my own advice, and focus the purpose of this blog into experience oriented creativity.
The creativity brand is good enough for Apple and Amsterdam, so I don’t have any problems in jumping onto that particular bandwagon. I’m not going to tout the latest macbooks, unless I’m given one, I’m not going to promote cheap hotels in the Netherlands, but the Abba Hotel gave me a large closet to sleep in for 25 euros.
Creativity incorporates all of my interests together into one lively whole. I’m a polyglot programmer, a multi timbral / modal musician, a multimedia magician, a dabbling writer and visual artist. My point is, I love creating experiences and telling engaging stories. I don’t make ‘stuff’. I don’t like the idea of making more ‘stuff’. The world has enough ‘stuff’.
Writing about creativity can <span> any topic. I suspect there will be anything from musical iPhone apps to neuroscience. From organizational systems to Processing swarms. And oh the books, Fiction and Non. (I should really review Anathem)
Anything which strikes me as interesting in this regard, I will post here. A big part of my experience is trying to get creative in the workplace, and meeting innumerable amounts of conflict. I aspire to offer solutions for this.
My objective is to offer more resources then my words alone, but, lets see, there are many things to do.
Finally, I should publicly thank Cyborg Anthropologist – Amber Case for the inspiration to work on my personal brand once again.