Throughout the last 9 months, I've been feeling driven to reconcile my right brain, creative side and my left brain, technical side. Over the past few years, I have kept my technical and creative sides very separate. You may be thinking, "Technical side? What technical side?" Well folks by day, I am an Information Technology (IT) professional who over the past 9 years has had the opportunity to lead and work within incredible teams that were key in pioneering significant changes in Federal Health Care. Why would I keep that separate from my creative side? Good question. For awhile, I believe I subconsciously worked under the [incorrect] assumption that being creative and being technical were mutually exclusive. Clearly this is not the case. In fact, in 2000 while I was upgrading my Sony VAIO with more RAM, a new wireless card, and video card while working at Circuit City (nerd alert), I was also the go-to crafty person in my circle of friends and family that started an event photography company and gave everyone handmade greeting cards. Even looking around, there were (then) and are (now) plenty of creative technical web developers, application developers, engineers, and scientists. Just visit TED.com or look around at the latest phone or social media tool and you can see that for yourself.
Modified from Source: Drawings of Leonardo
Or perhaps it was the "grass is greener" mentality. The idea that individuals in creative professions just have "it" better. Whatever "it" is! LOL However, after working and networking with professionals from both sides of the fence over the years, and witnessing the struggles and rewards of each, I have come to the conclusion that the grass isn't greener. In fact, it is equally green. With all of the advances in technology, it is almost expected that a professional have some type of technical understanding and creative ability no matter what job or career path they pursue.
There were three fairly recent activities/events that have helped me reconcile both my technical and creative talents and abilities.
1.Visits to StyleCareers.com
StyleCareers.com is the largest, fashion-only job listing site on the Internet. It has a lot of job listings. In fact, there tend to be quite a few job listings for IT Project Managers, Web Developers, and BI (Business Intelligence) Analysts. Pretty cool, eh?
2. Create Baltimore & a Creative Class Refresher
In February, I attended Create Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University. It was the 3rd event of it's kind and the first time I attended an unconference. Event attendees were from a wide variety of occupations, such as, engineering, education, information technology, arts, design, and media; all gathered together with a common goal to help make Baltimore a lively, thriving, sustainable city. During this event, I found it interesting that not only were the majority of the attendees transplants to Baltimore but that many of the event leaders and attendees had a technical background. Although I may not share the same perspective as some attendees on certain goals for the city, I was delighted to see the innovation and creativity I so often see inside of myself, in others with a technical background. This event reminded me of the interesting concept of the creative class by Richard Florida (which has its critics) that I read about a few years ago.
My LinkedIn network has been steadily building over the past year. I've wanted to update it but was stuck on which career to depict on my profile. My two worlds had begun colliding with associates wanting to connect from both my IT career and my other creative pursuits. I started conducting research on what to do in this situation. Some "experts" recommended using only one profession on your LinkedIn profile. Others recommended creating a profile for each profession (which I read somewhere may be against LinkedIn's TOU). I started to come across the solution I was looking for the more I looked through LinkedIn profiles. The answer was not selecting one or the other but combining both areas of expertise and writing a professional headline that reflects your background and experience. This is exciting and is something I plan to do with my blog as well!
Long story short, I plan to integrate things more going forward. *smile* I will continue to produce similar creative tech features like I have in the past. You can also check out links to some cool tech bloggers on the sidebar. Please note that this list includes my awesome, tech gadget expert husband, Mark from Tech Snobs!