Open Letter to Potential Employers

I would do it for half this. In fact, I’d take a 50% cut in my current salary (which is nowhere near this high) for a job that was fun, creative, challenging, and otherwise stimulating.

syracuse

I had to euthanize my heart and soul a couple years ago to stop the pain. I’m studying my ass off and I can feel a new heart and soul growing inside me. I can’t wait to offer them to someone …

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My 5-Month Plan

I will become legendary at my current, silly day job for my gregarious personality and indispensable contributions.

No matter how lazy or negative my co-workers, I will encourage them and offer to help make their work lives better so their workdays don’t suck as much as they obviously do.

I will give each task, no matter how mind-numbing, 100%. I will be present and leave a positive mark on everything I touch.

I will say hello to everyone and have at least three genuine conversations per day even though I hate small talk and I know everyone there hates me.

I will hunt with a flashlight and dig with a pick-axe until I find some way to expand my skillset and improve my current skills while at work. I refuse to waste one more day.

My 5-Year Plan

Jim Carrey once wrote himself a check for $20 million.

In five years, I will have helped at least 1 million people get their dream jobs.

I’m going to create the fastest-growing, most obviously effective training and coaching program in the world.

Those who work with me will be unable to imagine working anywhere else. We will have a culture unsurpassed by 99.99% of other organizations.

To Do:

  • Finish Grow With Google Scholarship Challenge course
  • Complete the Mobile Web nanodegree program with a GWG scholarship
  • Complete the Google News Data thing [update this] program
  • Complete that other Data News [update this] program

Just to show I can and because I can, create kickass eLearning using HTML5, JavaScript, and After Effects that surpasses anything and everything I ever made with Flash.

To Do in 2018:

  • Complete every After Effects course at Lynda.com
  • Launch Coding After 40 and Coding After 50

Previously, on Jotascript …

Wow. So much has happened. And yet, in some ways, so little.

This morning, while my wife was being a cheerleader as I walked out the door to my stupid day job, she said, among other things,

This time next year, your income will be double!

So, stay tuned … that gives me kind of a deadline and benchmark. I like it.

Hardest Work in 20 Years

career

Over the last six months, I’ve worked harder than I have in 20 years–since the last time I dedicated a few years to learning as much as I could and gaining as much experience as I could, often working for free.

It’s paying off now just like it did then.

  • Red = Career
  • Green = Pay
  • Blue = Marriage

Detailing My Dreams

I love the app pictured in the image below.

In Boston, tracking data to score government progress

I often read advice advising job-seekers to list what they want in a workplace and position including deal-breakers both positive and negative.

For much of my career, I felt such lists were pipe-dreams. I would accept any offer from whoever was willing to hire me. Employers who valued their people and co-workers who cared about what they did seemed like things other people had within their reach–but not me. More often than not, even when I thought I wasn’t settling, I ended up disappointed.

This time, however, I have a confidence and vision I’ve never had before. Not only do I have talent, skills, and many years of experience & education on my side, but I’m learning a ton more every day. I am very, very protective of this bag of tricks. Like a young maiden, I’ve sworn to myself I will not give it all up to some lame-o or charmer in some job interview during which I reek of desperation and naivete.

What I Want to Create

My career started, skyrocketed, rebooted and reenergized whenever I was doing something I loved on my own and then found a place that would pay me for it–they valued my purity. Circumstances sometimes changed and other suitors didn’t value this maiden’s purity. Those pimps used my skills to make junk.

There’s nothing wrong with making web apps in a responsive site. I can make a responsive site but sites are made to be responsive because customers use a variety of devices chosen and used for the user’s convenience. I’m not saying responsive sites and mobile apps are designed for the lowest common denominator–I’m saying that I want the freedom to make uncompromising beautiful, awesome, easily used and amazingly effective apps without having to take any of that into consideration.

See the giant screen in that image at the top? That’s the environment for which I want to design. Well, not really. That’s what I’ll settle for in the time being. This is what I really want to create:

want.png

Not on that scale–that’s probably multiple, separate apps but that’s definitely what I would want to work in. I much prefer my large screen iMac to my laptop. The Boston app and what Banner is using below is, realistically, what I want to make.

avengers_ruffalo.png

My Promise Ring

I can wait. I won’t look for this job. The right organization will be looking and they’ll find me. The longer I wait, the more skills and knowledge I’ll have for the right person. The more ready I’ll be when the right person comes a-courting.

Currently …

The stuff I’m making now in my personal sandbox and on a volunteer basis are … no boundaries. I want perfect. I want awesome and excellent. I don’t mind taking my time. I want clients who want the best, not what consumers will pay them for. Something the customer–whoever that is–wants and needs.

Backwards-compatibility, legacy browsers, etc. are not something I ever want to think about.

I’m still bitter about Steve Jobs killing Flash but I loved that when he felt you shouldn’t be using floppy disks anymore, he didn’t let you use them anymore. When he felt optical drives were only holding us back, he didn’t let you have those either.

I’m not even looking for innovation like that. I just want to do the best that’s possible right now with the tools available. Most people don’t even want that and those are the people I’m leaving behind like old floppy disks.

Leaving the Dark Wood

Just read “Why You Must Make Time for Personal Projects” by David Palumbo. I just needed a reminder and, frankly, permission to make myself do fun, creative, challenging, stimulating things. I was already sold long before I read this:

Clients hire us based on the work which we have already produced.  If an artist often paints scenes with animals, they will be hired for jobs that feature animals.  It’s logical.  Usually it’s pretty fair as well.  We’re good at painting the things we like to paint, so being recognized for those things brings in more of that work.

But sometimes the jobs coming in are taking you in a direction you had not intended to go in.  The longer it goes on, the more entrenched you become.

That is why I am forcing myself to finally learn programming and computer science. I’ve never had an urgent or even practical reason to do it–there were always more reasons to just get better at every Adobe product. But Adobe expertise sent me drifting into a dark wood where I’ve been entrenched for over seven years.

Which brings me to: Is it just me, or is that second paragraph practically Dante?

Halfway through the journey of my life, I found myself astray in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear. It is scarcely less bitter than death …

I cannot rightly say how I entered it. I was so full of sleep …”