Smart nerds do this thing at tech conferences when they’re trying to get to know each other: they ask “What are you (working on|most interested in|excited about) right now?” It’s a variation of “What do you do for a living?”, modified for and by people who watch the tech field like hawks, are likely to have a fabulously interesting hobby or weekend project, and might be excited about things for which they aren’t getting paid a salary.
It’s a tough question to answer, especially when you’re not working on a single thing. Last weekend at Foo Camp I failed miserably at explaining myself and my slash careers and how they all intersect. But at that same conference, I had the pleasure of attending a session by David Eaves, who eloquently explained that his goal is to apply his experience and training in negotiation skills to open source community management. On his site, he published a map of his past, current, and future work, and how those activities all interrelated. Cool!
Inspired, I spent some time thinking through my own aspirations, activities, interests, experiences, and goals, and put together a Venn diagram which attempts to list the main items and where they overlap and inform each other.
Here’s version 1.0 of that diagram:
What I’m Most Interested In and Working On Right Now
Gina Trapani, June 2011, v 1.0
Data visualization experts will likely point out that this isn’t a perfect use of the Venn diagram. It’s true; some of the set overlap could be improved. Consider it a work in progress.
This was an interesting exercise in professional reflection and focus for me, one I recommend for anyone who doesn’t have a ready answer to “What are you excited about right now?”
If you want to make your own, I published the Google Docs’ drawing I used. Go forth, copy, and repurpose. If you do, post a link to your finished diagram in the comments, and let me know what you think.
Cool idea 🙂 I think Social Software and Open Source should switch places.
I like this a lot. It’s difficult when you have a lot of interests which ebb and flow.
It’s difficult with a venn diagram to show intensity.
Perhaps a portfolio diagram would be useful.
I’m not sure what the axis would be.
Interest vs Attention?
Cool way to see the connections between the several sides of self…
Here’s my own go:
I’ve also put it up on my blog:
Nice job, Meggin!
Thanks for sharing, Gina – great idea and I’ve grabbed a copy of your example (not yet filled out though).
I made one! This was a fun exercise, though it was hard to come up with categories that intersect very neatly.
I’m a bit younger, so my current interests are definitely less career-oriented at the moment.
Anybody else have one to share?
This is a great idea Gina. I did more of an alpha version (as opposed to your 1.0 version).
At my blog
Thanks for sharing this Venn Diagram. It has been very helpful for me to decide my line of work.