I've noticed that lots of people find it hard to talk about themselves. To talk about where their interests lie, what they want from the world, what they're good at, and even what they're bad at.
When forced upon them, this difficulty becomes even more obvious. Like in a job application. People start using buzz words and rely on what they're expected to say. What's clear is that they've given no prior time to the matter.
Of course, it's laborious to force yourself into it. When you don't know where to start, and getting it wrong seems so bad. No one wants to commit to the wrong image of themselves.
There's incredible value in spending time trying to understand what makes you tick. It gives you a freedom that you might not otherwise have. To know if you're doing the right things, or even applying for the right roles.
Like all lasting endevours, iteration is the key to success. You can apply build-measure-learn the description of yourself. Doing so is an absolute necessity.
Let's take a look at the introduction I use for a moment:
"I'm Richard, a product focused Frontend Engineer and Designer".
At the beginning my interest was in graphic design. I enjoyed designing brands, packaging and websites. That changed when I learned to program. I started to appreciate function as much as form. I became more concerned with the user experience. As I've grown, I've learned that it's important to understand the impact of my work more. To be sure that my work has a positive impact on people's lives.
To map it out, it could look something like this:
- Beginning: Graphic Designer, with an interest in branding and marketing.
- Mid-point: Junior Frontend Engineer with an interest in user experience.
- Today: Frontend Engineer with a strong product focus.
What's important, is I've always known what I have enjoyed doing. More so, it's that I'm constantly editing the description based on my experience. I touched on this in issue three; how I don't see myself as a software engineer in the future. You can guarantee it'll change again.
If there's anything you can take from this, it's that spending time to figure who you are and what you want is beneficial, even if it turns out that what you thought is wrong. It's one big learning process, and if you don't try to understand, you never will. A friend of mine once gave me this advice, and I haven't looked back yet.
Next time you're challenged to talk about yourself, give it some thought and run with whatever you come up with until you know it's wrong.
Thanks for taking time out of your day,