So, I decided to sign up for the pre-conference workshops at HOW Design Conference this year. It was like only an extra $50, so I figured, why not? A la carte, they were like $175 each so I figured it was worth the bargain. Originally, I had signed up for Splash of Flash and then the one on CSS. But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to take the CSS workshop. I figured that what I needed to learn would have to be more extensive than what any 3-hour workshop could provide. I probably should have considered this with the Flash workshop, too, but decided to stick with it. I ended up taking the Splash of Flash workshop in the morning and then went to Chaos to Clarity workshop in the afternoon.
So here's the thing with the Splash of Flash workshop- at first, I was taking notes and trying to keep up with the speaker. There were a lot of really cool things that he showed us in Flash and it was enlightening to me considering that I'd never really done anything in that application. So there were a few "a-ha" moments where I felt that lightbulb go on. But on most part, I really felt that it got either too advanced for someone like me or that it ended up being more of a showcase for CS5 and a few other programs, which I do not have. And actually, before I took the workshop I had decided that I was going to make myself learn Flash and CSS via Lynda.com and so by the time I was done with this workshop, I really wish I would have chosen a different workshop to go to. For what I got out of it, I think that I would have benefited more doing something else. But that's just my own personal take on it.
I was actually really excited to be taking the Chaos to Clarity workshop. I had actually met the speakers: RaShelle, Judah and Eric the day before when Kelly and I were in the convention center getting our registration done. So I was really enthused after talking to them about their workshop and how it could help me as far as where to start making a business plan, setting goals, etc. We were paired up with a partner and had to ask each other questions throughout, getting to know each other and helping to realize some things that we might not have thought about before. The one thing that I really wanted to focus on with this workshop was ME and what I am passionate about- the whole reason why I chose to take this workshop instead of the CSS workshop. I rely heavy on my day job as it is what pays my bills but I have to admit that it's hard to feel passionate about a job where I feel as though my potential will never be realized. I'm tired of trying to fight my way up in the corporate world to a position that would earn me more respect within the company only to feel as though I just haven't made any real progress. I think that there are a lot of people within the company who still see me as the Data Admin Tech that I started out as way back when and don't realize or acknowledge that I actually have two degrees in art and design. So the idea of this particular workshop was very appealing to me. I am ready to get more serious about the kind of work that I am passionate about. In this workshop, I learned about creating a business plan with a vision statement, values and also a mission statement. I also learned about planning milestones and a road map for my career and the action steps, support structures, systems and resources to help make it happen. I even got up a couple of times to share my story and suggest a few things. I really felt that this was a very valuable workshop with what I not only was able to take away from it but also, hopefully, what I was also able to contribute to it. There was a drawing for a couple of one-on-one career coaching with RaShelle and Judah but I didn't win. But- I am seriously thinking about how I could find a way to get their input on a few things as I roll along. I think it'd be well worth it!