I really enjoyed my recent conversation with Phil Burgess for his IT Career Energizer podcast, because Phil takes a personal slant on tech conversation. While UX, design, and artificial intelligence inevitably came up, most of the focus was on the personal and the human, rather than the technical. The overarching theme: how to craft a healthy and fulfilling career in this industry. I can’t say that I’ve cracked that one, but I did share what I’ve learned so far. And things got a little touchy-feely.

Listen to the 33-minute episode here: Keep Your Work Life in Perspective, and Pair Curiosity with Generosity with Josh Clark.

We talked about:

  • How designers should be customer advocates without falling into the trap of becoming adversarial with the very business they work for
  • The challenge of separating one’s work from one’s sense of self. “Success doesn’t make you a better person, and failure doesn’t make you a worse one. … There’s no rest or satisfaction in thinking that you will finally be happy if only your work is a success.”
  • Lessons learned from my career low, the failure of my first business—and my long unwillingness to let it simply fail so that I could move on
  • The future of careers in technology, and the role we can all play in crafting a data-driven future that is also responsible and respectful
  • The best career advice I ever received: “There is no big time. You never arrive. Every time you reach a goal, there’s always something new that’s just beyond your reach. … You’ve got to, in your work, draw satisfaction from today, and draw pleasure from the thing you’re making right now.”
  • My number-one non-technical skill: active listening and working collaboratively
  • How to pair curiosity with generosity in your career in a way that lets you be proud of what you do and learn—but with humility and care for others

I found the conversation to be a useful bit of reflection on my own career and values, and perhaps you’ll find it useful, too. Listen here.

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