Design, Lifestyle

A New Year, New Initiative

The year 2012 would be my first full year out of school and a crazy year in which I changed goals, location and jobs (multiple times).

A Look Back

In 2012 I made the move from Raleigh, North Carolina back to my hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The move coincided with a new job as a web designer and developer for a small digital marketing agency to an even smaller startup team, Passing Leads. Then, in October I decided to accept a full time position for a corporation with a sizeable web development team and reduced my hours with Passing Leads in half; yes, I still work both!

The opportunities in the last year have given me the ability to work in very small, small and large work environments with differing cultures. The last year has helped lay a foundation for the person I am and am going to be in the year 2013.

My New Initiative

It is a new year and I don’t believe in making a new year’s resolution… Let’s be honest how many of us actually make it to the next year? Instead I want to start an initiative to improve myself and the work I do in the web and design community.

I began by jotting down areas of focus and after about an hour came to the conclusion that I will focus on the following three initiative.

Refine

The first initiative can be defined as a way to improve with small change to knowledge, an idea, or a method. An initiative that has been prevalent in the past, I want to retain the desire to become better in all of aspects of my life and purge any thought of being stagnant. I want to refine my skills and knowledge both as a designer and as a developer.

Expand

The most challenging of the three intitiatives is the ability to expand my work, ideas and name throughout the design and development community. A strong person of influence, Kyle Bragger, is well know for his experiments in designing and developing web applications. I want to follow in his path and start bringing my ideas together, creating a network that displays my work and gives my name considerable value.

Experiments I am currently working on or have planned for the near future are as follows:

  • Oink, an online small business checking solution with no hidden fees.
  • Explaint, allows you to charge clients for a one-on-one video chat.
  • Madddness, a weekly roundup of the dribbble community and a worldwide tournament of the top artists and designers.
  • Brewed in Wisconsin, an invite only collection of notable designers and developers located in America’s dairyland.

Considered experiments because they are ideas that need to be fostered. If any of them grow into a viable product or service I can reconsider my position on how I want to pursue them further. But for now they are experiments that I can share with the community.

Influence

The previous two initiatives tied a lot into the third and final intitiative, Influence. This year I want to begin influencing others, especially young designers and developers, by helping them establish their careers, ideas and voice.

Influence relies heavily on the refine and expand intiatives and will be an effort to give back. The initiative involves an increased number of logically written posts, attendance at tech and startup events, and hopefully the ultimate goal of speaking at one or two tech conferences.

It has been a slight fear of mine to speak in front of a large group of strangers. I have a confidence in my work that I want to express to my piers so I can influence my ideas and knowledge.

Some Sort of Synergy

While I know the three initiatives above are explained briefly, I wanted to keep the minor details to myself and allow for others who might use these initiatives as a backbone to their own ideas. While focusing on the initial initiatives (that sounds wierd) I started to gravitate around the idea that all three of the initiatives I chose have a sort of synergy. They couple together reinforcing the ideals of one another.

Wrap It Up!

The world hasn’t ended, a new year is upon us (silly Mayans), and I need to get back to work!

Peace,
Justin

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