Here’s today’s writing prompt of the Start-a-Blog course:
What do people thank you for?
What people thank me for… Ironically, at first this one has been even more hurting and painful than anger… I thought of writing a whole passage devoted to the topic of “how I have been feeling invisible”. But that’s not the point of the prompt, and my mood has changed over the last 24 hours, finally leaving that bitterness and anger behind and switching back to excitement and happiness.
However, I still had to think hard for some time to find what to write here. Because around the area of my main occupation I have been doing something I don’t enjoy for close to 4.5 years now (first my Master thesis project, and then my PhD project). And when I don’t enjoy the work, then…
- I can’t really invest myself in the work,
- The quality of the work suffers,
- I feel bad about it,
- I speak less about the work I do,
- Fewer people know what I am doing,
- Fewer people are aware of my contributions,
- Fewer people know what I can do for them,
- Fewer people ask me for help,
- Fewer people thank me.
As for the things I’m really excited about doing – my music, my photography… Honestly, I have been too scared to really promote it. So the items above are again applicable here, just starting from the one that reads “I speak less about the work I do” and down.
STILL, there are some particular things that I have been helping people with and/or for which people have been grateful to me:
- being there and being there on time,
- being there for people when they need someone to talk to,
- being there when they ask for help with something I can easily do,
- sharing honest and authentic feedback,
- sharing my LOVE and appreciation with those to whom I feel it,
- (professional) code reviews, debugging, suggesting solutions,
- (professional) sharing my experiments together with source code examples,
- sharing my life’s message, talking deeply about my values, my beliefs, my views of the world,
- sharing helpful resources,
- sharing my personal experiences and refering people to places where they can learn more.
Funny how while writing the list above I am becoming aware of my inconfidence and shyness in putting “my stuff” in front of others… while at the same time becoming aware of the value that a few of the people I know have received when I did share “my stuff”.
Something interesting here.
Something to think of, to contemplate.
But for now, here it is. A list of the thing for which people thank me.
Thinking about two alternative questions that Scott suggests, “What do you love helping people with?” and “What would you be happy and excited to help others with even if you didn’t get paid?” – I realize that it is all the same things.
I would love being there for people when they need help and support, and I’d love them to know they can count on me to
a) be there on time,
b) be there for them, leaving all the distractions behind,
c) sharing with them I LOVE and appreciation I have for them,
d) giving them honest, authentic feedback,
e) sharing with them my experiences and lessons,
f) providing them with helpful resources and references/links to more information,
g) helping them with something I can easily do for them.
And professionally, in the software development, it is
- discussing and clarifying problems and needs,
- architecturing, structuring and designing solutions,
- helping with implementation choices,
- experimenting and trying out promising technologies,
- reporting on my experiences and developing educational materials that help others to start using those technologies easier,
- bringing important points to their awareness: the important points that are often misunderstood or ignored with negative consequences, as well as the important points which may be difficult to understand and start using at first but which have really high degree of returns on investments made beyong that learning curve,
- reviewing the solutions, giving honest feedback and suggestions for improvement, both in the code area, as well as in the area of visual design & appeal, functionality, user interactions… In short, the whole concept of user experience.
What do people thank YOU for? (If you are also doing the Start-a-Blog course, PLEASE share the links to your posts in the comments – or just hit reply if you are reading this post in your email inbox!)
Looking forward to hearing from all of you!
Enjoy your life! ;)