Working for 10+yrs in IT as a UX designer, boredom & incessant cribbing seems to be a part of our lives. If you know anyone from IT, he would be bored with an almost machine-like(Home:Work:Home) culture. They would either crib about:
- Undeserving Manager
- Office Politics
- False Onsite Hope
- Lack of variety in Canteen menu
- The Exponentially growing tech space
This is common in all IT companies irrespective of the size & demographics. To think of it, we are wrong to blame the company or the subset factors coming along with work in our daily lives. The point is we have lost our DRIVE! I have lost my DRIVE!
Yes, this thought I have been contemplating with for quite a while. I have tried many things during my offs — Hiking, cycling, writing etc but these activities form a short period of the week.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. It could be that I have been working all along & haven’t explored how I can look at my skills through a different lens.
The New Experience
I’m working at a CMM level 5 company as of now. Though my past 2 engagements were both startups. They are young, fast, dynamic & have a unique ability to dump a lot of varied work on their employees. You will learn a new skill today, another tomorrow. To add to this, if one has good communication skills then they request you to provide training to new joiners/ laterals. A cheap & effective way to share skills within the company barring exterior dependence.
I too was asked to provide UX/ UI design training. Resistant at first I decided to take it up as a challenge. Other than one’s core work, one has to shoulder more responsibilities with passing time. I ended up giving 5-day training sessions every 2–3 months only to discover my:
#1 Rise of Self-Confidence
#2 Introvertism out
#3 When one teaches, two learn
These qualities & learnings started to grow within. As time passed, I realized that I like teaching. In the sense, I share knowledge & get a perspective from my trainees. If I can’t gather feedback or have a dialogue, then I would have to relook at my teaching skills. I wouldn’t want my students to act out of fear but be more open to course context.
Post my corporate training stint, I got a call from an institute for a 2-month UX/UI course. A completely different playground where I would not teach the general IT crowd. It gave me a new direction & may help fill up that Drive void.
Time passed, I got busy with my course prep slowly realizing that the DRIVE void wasn’t just associated with work or part-time teaching. We work in this manner because it is deeply engraved in our system.
We have been moulded to study hard, get excellent grades, surpass interviews & land a good job at a big company. The culture of peer comparisons & percentile system diverts a student’s goal from learning & understanding to just get good grades. This practice replicates in our job scenarios. An employee toils his way to get by the day only to receive a regular monthly salary.
We are surrounded by a number which needs to be achieved by a specific period of time.
If not, you have missed out an academic year or faced a career gap issue. Alas, you could study up till a Ph.D. certification for any career qualification but it doesn’t matter if you don’t know the why or where you are heading. Your missing DRIVE!