Broaden your Horizons and Stay Flexible with Paul Boag

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Paul Boag

Paul Boag is a leader in digital transformation and user experience design thinking.  Through consultancy and training, he helps organisations make better use of technologies. He is also author of five books including “Digital Adaptation” and “User Experience Revolution” as well as being a speaker on user experience design and digital transformation.

In this episode, Phil and Paul Boag discuss the importance of taking a multi-disciplinary approach to what you do. Paul repeatedly provides examples of how to do this and demonstrates the positive impact it can have on your career. They also talk about the evolution of machine learning and AI. Paul explains how soft skills, being a good salesperson and staying flexible have helped his career.

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Paul Boag

Resources

boagworld.com – Check out Paul’s website!

2 Top Career Tips

1) Broaden your horizons; think outside of your immediate discipline. When you familiarise yourself with other tech and areas of business, communicating and working collaboratively becomes easier. You end up with the knowledge and vocabulary you need to understand and be understood better by others. In the podcast, Paul and Phil discuss how to do this without becoming overwhelmed. Being a generalist is not a bad thing. For example, Paul specialises in UX, but can still write code. This enables him to understand the principles used to create the systems he is working on.
2) Stay flexible. You never know where new technology will take your career.

Show Notes

Worst Career Moment

During the 90s Paul worked at a .com. When it looked like it was about to go bust, the senior management decided to turn it into an agency. They came up with a list of people to offer jobs to. But, they did this without consulting the staff. That clandestine approach caused a tremendous amount of hurt. Surprisingly, even for those that got a job out of that process. This negative experience taught Paul the importance of being open and transparent with his staff. He is now a far more empathetic person.

Career Highlight

Paul’s career highlight was helping a frozen ready meals firm grow their e-commerce sales by several thousand percentage points. They specialised in delivering these meals to elderly customers. Paul provides several examples of why this project turned out to be so exciting and interesting to work on. During this section, he clearly demonstrates why you need to think beyond your discipline if you want to become a truly successful IT professional.

The Future

Paul loves the way you get hired to do one thing, only to find that a couple of weeks later the job changes and you are doing something completely different. It is very exciting especially for the creative people who work in IT.

The Reveal

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.?

Nothing, because Paul does not actually see himself as an IT professional. You can find out why by listening to the podcast.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

What is the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t stop working, never stop hustling. Paul explains how this advice led to his burning out, during the .com boom.

If you had to begin your career again in today’s world, what would you do?

Paul would focus on developing smart devices. He is particularly interested in enabling users to interface invisibly with the technology.

What career objectives are you currently focusing on?

Paul wants to build longer-term relationships with some of his clients.

What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far?

The ability to sell, being able to sell ideas, himself and his vision.

What do you do to keep your own career energized?

Interacting with other people. Learning from and teaching them.

What do you do in your spare time away from technology?

Paul likes to travel.

Contact The Guest

Contact Paul Boag through the following social media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/boagworld

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulboag

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Accelerate Your Career Every Week - NOW

Tips & advice for advancing your career. Get my most powerful tips FOR FREE. No spam, ever.

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