Monday, July 5, 2010

Update—It's been a while!

In the past several months since my last post (which was in January and so much has happened since then!!), I've been trying some new ideas, looking for exciting opportunities, and enjoying the path God is leading me on as a husband, brother, son, teacher, employee, and freelance designer. I also want to brag on my wife, who, in June, graduated from The University of Cincinnati DAAP's Masters of Architecture program!

Below is one of those opportunities. I applied for a job in northern Virginia as a visual information specialist, and it challenged me with some interesting questions. The 1st statement/question is below in BOLD, and my reply is below in ITALICS. I'll be posting the other 4 statement/questions in the coming days. I don't claim to be an excellent writer, but saw this as an opportunity to explore a creative essay. Please read the statement/question and let me know if you think I answered it adequately or if I failed to entice you with a proper message.

Seeks out opportunities to increase knowledge sharing with others within the team or unit

Each person is equipped with the tools of verbal and gestured communication. It is by these that we have the capacity to share the knowledge of and foster an environment in which these ideas and information can be shared openly. It has been my experience in both isolated and open conversations that an innate factor of humanity is to share something enlightening and loving.

Many times I find myself intrigued by the new idea that crosses my path or I hear about from others, hoping that this will be the next thing to push me into a better position in life. I cannot be satisfied with where I am and continue to learn, seeking out fresh content with relevant consequences, that I may grow from the experience and help guide others through similar circumstances. I have heard it put many ways, but the basic idea, that “when one stops learning, he stops living too,” sets a solid principle—one that should be followed with adamant focus. I also recognize that without the help of family and friends, and other external sources, I would not be who I am today. I value friendship and the company of another person, who I can share my experiences with, as well as listen and actively participate in their life experiences. I believe we are more vulnerable when we isolate ourselves, and our knowledge, setting up barriers to expression and freedom for the company we work for and ourselves. However, I believe there is an appropriate way of communication that must be addressed in the workplace, especially if it is classified and/or confidential information. Therefore, when working with a team or unit, I try my best to communicate effectively, efficiently and truthfully. I strive to make it enjoyable and exciting for those around me. This does not mean I just fool around, but it means that I take pride in being an encourager to my coworkers and peers. I recognize what can and cannot be said around certain people, and I also recognize the power of words. What we say and how we say it can have an immense impact on the receiver—whether it’s sharing knowledge about a new gadget or gossiping about a coworker.

As a freelance designer and art director, I have the privilege of communicating new insights that help develop others in their professional lives. Over the past year and a half I have successfully initiated the importance of using updated equipment for the purposes of ministry within the church. Prior to my coming on staff, each staff member had only basic equipment and software on their outdated PCs. I brought in my MacBook and iMac and showed them how to do some amazing things, like the ease of iMovie and GarageBand, along with the simplified navigation and convenient, user-friendly tech support. I worked on Macintosh computers all through elementary and high school, and college, so I had a wealth of knowledge from the IT side. A keen understanding of the keyboard shortcuts, coupled with the education I received in college in Visual Communication Design, and suddenly Adobe didn’t seem so hard to work with either. Thus began the transition over to Apple products, simply by demonstration that they had the better tools to work with. I’m not anti PC, but for the projects and ideas that needed addressed in the creative environment, the outdated PCs were too far behind and logically Apple made sense.

Another part of sharing the knowledge is capturing the moments of bliss for someone to look back on over the years. I’ve had the privilege many times to both photograph and film an event in a way that, once edited to perfection, will instill appreciation and honor for the persons involved for years to come. Sharing knowledge is vital in most forms, and to that end I do my best to preserve those special moments, so that they can inspire new waves of sharing in the future.