Jon Daiello Product Designer ūü¶Ą

Journal

StartYourShift: A Year In Reflection

Writing articles for the #StartYourShift project was an amazingly beneficial experience for me. I want to give a huge thanks to the folks over at Sparkbox for coming up with the idea and seeing it through until the end. Some may have been more faithful than I have been, but I gave it my best effort to take part as much as possible. I authored 10 articles (this one included) on a variety of subjects this year for the project. As the last hurrah, here are my thoughts on why I consider it a personal success.

What Did I Learn?

I learned a ton on topics like accessibility, education, passion and so much more. Diving into these subjects and forcing myself to think through the issues was a big win. Some of these topics I have thought over before and others were never a high priority. It was an effort to take time out of my schedule to research and write articles. Sometimes I wanted to quit and not write an article. Other times I had to stop myself from writing because I was writing too much.

The¬†most shocking thing I learned was about myself. I learned that I like to write. It was news to me. I never spent a lot of time preparing for and writing material, so it was a hidden talent that was unexplored. At times, I’d even begin writing articles as soon as the topics were announced. It became such a focus in my life that I even redesigned¬†and rebuilt my site with the goal and objective of writing even more. I started writing about what I was learning, things I cared about and even joined in other writing projects.

This year I discovered a whole new skill set and learned to practice it.

How Was I Changed?

Once you discover something, you can never go back to¬†un-discovering it. Now that I have begun exploring this new skill set, I’m excited to continue¬†developing it. Writing is just like any other skill,¬†you need to practice to get better. I’ve begun seeking out opportunities to continue writing more¬†and to incorporate written communication wherever possible.

Discovering the ability to write opened up an avenue of other communication learning. I began writing documentation, giving presentations, teaching, and leading people. As my skills continued to develop across the communication spectrum I found myself growing in my career at a higher rate. It opened up new possibilities for me and (I believe) played a pivotal role in the development of my career this year.

What Was My Favorite Part?

My absolute favorite part was the personal change that it caused.¬†Taking part in the #StartYourShift project changed my outlook on personal and professional interactions. I’m so glad I jumped in and started writing. I have changed for the better and I can’t wait to see how I can continue to utilizing and developing these skill to make a better web.

Thanks to everyone who participated in #StartYourShift. You helped to elevate these discussions and better the lives of participant and viewers.