Janet: My Journey to this Blog, Part I

A photo of Janet Jervis

I distinctly remember the day the idea for this blog was born.

It was September 2015. I had just finished teaching a class about portfolios and discussing with the students how a visual collection of their skills and knowledge could be beneficial for them. We talked about the changing workplace they were entering and how to thrive in an economy in which jobs are evolving and may not even exist yet. During the class, we also reflected on the importance of communicating “who” they were when looking for employment, in particular through their preferred digital channels. In our current diverse and changing workplace it has almost become necessary to present oneself from a digital perspective as if you are a personal online “brand”. Plus, with all the online options available to us, such as social media, LinkedIn, portfolio websites and blogs, this is not an easy task.

As I walked across the University campus, it occurred to me that I did not have a clear professional definition of who I am. I have always been passionate about design. I have studied design, originally in fashion, then graphic design and eventually a Master of Multimedia Design. Currently, I am undertaking a Ph.D. to find out how professionals perceive “design” and whether or not they feel it is important to the economy. My portfolio hasn’t had an update for quite a few years and while my professional life is going through dramatic (and positive) change, it is no longer a reflection of my present, more extensive, knowledge and skills. I also knew that to be relevant in the 21st-century workplace, as I am not planning on stopping work anytime soon, I had to find the time to address my perceived lack of an online presence.

This thinking led me to reflect on my knowledge and skills.

How could I “package” all the things I had done and the knowledge I had gained over a long career? I couldn’t see a way to present my skills without boxing myself into a specific area.

I began reflecting on the vast array of talented and inspiring people I know, comprising men and women of all ages. However, for some reason, on this day, my thoughts began to focus on the women I spend time with at work. While it is not always easy to get together, whenever we do, we often enjoy in-depth conversations about all manner of topics. I realised many of these women were in the same boat as me. We may want to do so much more online, create a blog, website, LinkedIn profile, etc., but our professional and family commitments come first. The result was that we often put it off, or perhaps do some of it but never make it a priority.

Enter Macrocentrics!

That week I approached Deb and Susie.

Our first macrocentrics meeting
Our first macrocentrics lunch meeting

I proposed a blog concept that addressed our limited time issues. Both of these talented women could see the benefit of a blog that included a sharing of the workload between the three of us. Even our consideration of a blog was probably a bigger decision than it reads! None of us wanted to take on a commitment and not follow through or be in a position to let anyone down. Over the next few weeks and months, we fleshed the idea out a bit more, and some more… and more. Despite all the time streaking past us and moments of doubt, such as what would we write about, why did we think it would be interesting to others (probably just regular doubting thoughts about the unknown), the three of us realised that we didn’t want to give up on the idea.

We figured at least we could read each other’s posts! Our first official “Macrocentrics” meeting was in February 2016. It was such a stimulating and positive get together. Over lunch and four hours we managed to lock in what we wanted our blog to communicate and we even set a launch date… but then we were all so busy we hardly heard that March deadline whoosh past!

I am so happy that we didn’t give into those doubts. Our second meeting was May 4th, 2016. This time there was a definite underlying feeling of excitement; we were close to launching.

So, this first post is more a “yay” to us for not giving up when we are so busy. For my part, I am looking forward to sharing my career experiences around design as well as working with Deb and Susie to take Macrocentrics forward. Between us we know so many amazing people that down the track our aim is to invite other professionals to share their experiences in this online space too. So, here we are at launch day: May 12th, 2016.
I hope you will join us on this journey.

Yours in design,