Overheard: how rejection can lead to your ideal job

There is a great presentation on Stanford University’s site about the growing trend for data visualisation for anyone looking to get into this relatively new and niche area of content creation. It’s an hour long mix of interviews and resources, and well worth a view.

Don’t be put off by the title, though: Journalism in the Age of Data. This is not just for journalists but for anyone wanting to simplify the flood of information using straightforward visuals (or sophisticated multimedia, narrative ones) to explain data or other complex information.

What I particularly liked about it was a quote from a young lady called Amanda Cox, at around three minutes into Chapter 2:

“I wasn’t going to be a good academic so I started thinking what do I want to do? I started applying to random things… my thought was, what am I disappointed at being rejected by? And one of them was a graphics intern at the New York Times.”

Not only is Amanda Cox now the graphics editor at the New York Times but she is also known as the ‘Queen of InfoViz’ in this growing industry.

So if you were ever wondering about your ideal job, perhaps ask yourself what jobs have you been disappointed NOT to get? Your niche interest area may lead to career fast-tracking or even becoming a leader in your chosen profession. Now that’s what I call a positive negative.

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