In his presentation on day one of GiantConf 2014, Chris Harrison talked to us about “Embracing the Suck”. Here are my notes from his talk.
Chris Harrison – Embracing the Suck – 10:45a Thursday, June 12
Embracing the Suck: Military phrase meaning to make the best of whatever situation you’re in..
– Weight loss – 529 to 377
– weight gain due to being depressed, hating what he did, etc.
– Making sites since 1996.
– Former fulltime freelancer
– now: frontend dev for Morris Communications (magazine division)
2013 state of the workplace
30% engaged and inspired
18% actively Disengaged – sabotage their coworkers (cost 450-550 million a year)
52% permanent case of the mondays – do just enough not to get fired
Sometimes you just gotta suck it up.
– Consider the alternative – it could be worse.
– dan willis, “great takes work”
– choose your battles and spend your energy wisely
Negativity is a cancer! (this could be a talk topic!)
Sometimes complaining takes more effort than just getting things done.
Don’t fear new. New = opportunity. (he was told he’d be doing all joomla and drupal work. This was not happy news)
– learn on the companie’s dime
– doubtful he could have learned this stuff as a freelancer (no time/money in it)
Everything you do is a learning process for everything.
– thomas edison’s quote about opportunity and how it looks like work.
– fabio at mailchimp, lead html email designer. was hired to do ui/ux, but they approached him to do HTML emails.
– we know as an industry that html emails suck.
– when he heard this, he embraced the challenge.
– 5 years later he’s an innovator in a field where it was thought there was no room for innovation left.
Opportunity opens doors…
Help your team…
– concept of jumping on hand grenades (someday you’ll need help from the person you help today)
Small wins are still wins. (make it something awesome despite the scope)
Make learning a priority
– learning about sass etc and givng talks about it.
– things suck less when you share what you know with your coworkers
– codeschool etc. as good options for continued learning.
“Sneak” new technology/techniques into projects, but strive to get buy-in from your coworkers (if not management)
– Demonstrate the benefits of incorporating these new techs into an existing workflow
Find creative outlets
– draw more.
– starting doing illustrator avatars for friends
– take pictures! (vader, ninja turtles)
– lilvaderadventures tubmler
Scratch your own itch – side projects rock
– itembrowser.com – his first responsive project
– learned media queries, etc.
Start using your powers for good
– jingle jam (10k) benefiting safeHOMES charity
– design + development + marketing
– someone could really use your talents!
Happiness depends on ourselves – aristotle
Even sucky work can make you happy. Give it a chance.