Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where I'm headed right now

A couple of events converged recently to get me seriously thinking about career stuff again. I grabbed my favorite bright paper and sat down to map out my thoughts in an effort to figure out where I should be going.

As I worked, it became clear that a common thread ran through both my external interests and my highest passion points about my career. Storytelling.

If you read this blog at all, which I know not many do [YET, Aprille, YET], then you've seen that fascination here.

As a kid, I thought I'd become an author. I still might, although I don't feel the nugget of a unique, unborn story rattling around my head at the moment. In high school, I wrote many Twilight-style short stories - typically an underappreciated witty, spunky village girl who wins the affections of the sarcastic on the outside, but really quite sweet prince.

My years in market research were focused on building stories from the data we gathered from our potential customers. The real plus to me about working in the company I do - we are a significant player in helping people to build & revisit their own stories. (Insert Italian handgestures here).

My fascination with stories is broader than creating or telling them, though. It's how they're told, what they mean, how this changes with technology and multimedia mashups, across geographies. What are the psychological principles behind them? How can companies help? Besides the straight-up reliving of memories and bed-time imagining, what role do stories play in how people learn? Heal? Grow? How can stories be used to better communicate what people need in products to companies? To better share what companies have to offer to people?

I'm really excited by this discovery, which was really right in front of me. I think becoming a storytelling subject matter expert (or storytelling "master") is something tangible that I can do for my current employer and it lays out potential opportunities ahead, if that is the path I choose or need to take. I can also see it shaping the crafting and reading I do in my personal life. Oh, this will be fun!! Let's go!

In that light, I reach out to you readers and those I'm pointedly sharing this post with.

Any book recommendations? Conferences? People to connect with? I'd love to hear suggestions. I have some initial ideas, but want unbiased suggestions first.

More to come!
[Funny, as excited as I am, I'm nervous too, and sat on this post for a day after completing it]

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