Titles

Been doing a bit of career soul-searching as of late. Which is cause for the lack of monthly updates.

Things have been… uh… funky. There’s no better word for it without going into great detail. And I’m thinking that it’s life’s way of giving me a good swift kick in the ass to get moving again. To get out over that 5 year mountain and do something good. To make a change and do something big and not simply these little somethings that are only adding up to a molehill.

I attended InfoCamp Seattle two weekends ago and met a poop load of super inspiring people. For those of you who don’t know what an InfoCamp is, it’s an unconference. The only talks planned are the mornings Plenary sessions. Otherwise the sessions are determined and lead by the attendees by pitching their sessions to the attendees. The slots / rooms are filled for each round, and attendees choose which sessions in which they would like to participate.

There were two completely awesome plenary speakers, Marcellus Turner and Dan Klyn. Totally engaging speakers. Careers that have journeyed amazing paths. As an IA, I’ve been following Dan’s blog for a while, and somehow has a sixth sense for publishing posts on topics relevant to events happening in my professional career. They’ve given me perspective and thought fodder.

Marcellus also made a great point at the end of his talk: it’s your choice to suffer. Either you end up accepting the situation that you’re in, or you take action and steps to change it.

GapingVoid Art - What We AreWhich got me thinking some more about the events of the past three months. In stewing things over, I came across a few insights:

  • I’ve never been comfortable with titles. I consider myself an Information Professional since my skills and interests encompass a wide swath of the field. Call me what you will, but move to the side so I can perform the tasks at hand to the best of my abilities. I love to organize all types of information.
  • I feel more comfortable as an Information Architect than a User Experience Designer. Data, patterns, and structure are my friends. Graphical interfaces and emotional connections seriously challenge me (yay, Asperger’s), but I’m willing to learn and take a stab at it.
  • Lose the negativity. According to a trusted friend, many content strategists possess a perpetually poor outlook on their job functions. Probably due to frustrations with others understanding of the role, or the lack of respect for deadlines by the content creators. I’ve fallen into that mindset and need to jolt myself out.

First steps:

  • Get healthy. If I don’t take care of my body, I feel bad about myself and encourage a cycle of negativity. So, I’m training for a triathlon as well as eating vegetarian at home. Still allowing myself meat while dining out if I feel like it. Staying active. Dropping a few extra pounds I have laying around to lighten my load.
  • Figure out what I want to do when I grow up as an Information Professional. Does that mean finding an area I which to specialize? Does it mean changing from business to libraries or another industry? Does it mean becoming a consultant?
  • Finding my personal Mount Kilimanjaro to climb. What do I see that I can change within the information professions? What skills do I possess that I can champion for a difference? For something improved and good? Where is the base camp from which I need to start?

Yep. That about sums it up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to start on my journey.

Cartoon: What We Are by GapingVoid Art. Please support Hugh MacLeod’s work. Brilliant artist with arrow-like messages, and the prints are always beautiful. They make fabulous holiday gifts!

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Sara Written by:

I'm an Information Architect and Taxonomist in the greater Philadelphia, PA area. Mad about metadata. Incessant organizer. Knowledge monger. Information seeker. Wisdom chaser. Curiosity has yet to kill this cat!