My objective is to help a company to determine the best methods for solving a problem or achieving a goal. Since my background is in technology, it is easy to assume that the solutions I find are often based in technology, but in reality they aren’t.
I’ve learned over the years that most of the research and planning relies very little on technology. If you want to reach your audience, for example, then you first need to know where they are. What networks are they using? What devices do they own? You also need to understand your audience if you’re building a website or developing a product. Most of this takes old-fashioned conversations and observation. Once you understand your audience, you can use your findings to guide the constructions of, say, a brand-new website.
Through the completion of a goal or resolution to a problem, I hope that my work will help people. I have worked different types of jobs, some of which brought me closer to the people I served and some which kept me detached. At Dow Chemical, I worked at first inside the Video Conference helpdesk where I dealt with most of our “customers” over the phone. I was very focussed on our job of helping our clients conduct their meetings in the videoconference rooms, but after a while I realized that I was not a very big part of Dow Chemical’s operation. In fact, the meetings were just something that interrupted everyone’s work. My services were needed, but I wasn’t really making an impact at Dow Chemical.
Later on, I was transferred to the company’s Employee Training building, where I supported the hardware in conference rooms and assisted people with their technical questions or issues. I felt really good about the opportunity to interact with the people I served, because I felt that I was making a bigger impact than I did via the phone.
I see the same kind of impact being made at EduGuide where I work for now. I know that the website we’re building directly impacts its members. I don’t get to meet all of them, but when I am out on location I observe that our tools are making a difference. I take pride in the fact that I’m contributing to the creation of a website that is making a difference in the world.