Random Thought: The Importance of Being Honest

This really doesn’t fall under anything design related, per se, but I feel is important to just put out there.

I recently had been on LinkedIn, and noticed a post from one of my LinkedIn contacts, someone I had worked with about 5 years ago. I thought I’d take a look at his profile, and found something interesting.

What caught my eye was he had listed 20 years of experience in UX.

Now, I know I could say I’ve been doing UX for 15 years, but in actuality, professionally, where I was paid to do UX, and had the title of UX Designer (or in my case the first one was Interaction Design Lead), has been 5 years.  Of course if I were to go back further, when I started producing CD-ROM’s and then websites, you could argue I was doing UX back then, which then totals 20 years – or 2 years before my son was born. But I stick to 5 years, and then bring up my past experience as well.

Plus, I’m old enough to be able to say I’ve been doing something that long, professionally. I did used to say I had done video production for 25 years, when I was younger. I had started out as a video editor for a local TV show when I was 15. But then video was not something new and had a name to it – video. And now I don’t say that, though truth, because not too many kids at 15 get a job as a video editor for a TV show.

My problem with my colleague’s history is that he’s probably not more than 35 years old.  So that would mean he began doing UX professionally when he was 15, and 20 years ago, we weren’t  calling it UX (at least not to my knowledge).

I’m not saying he’s lying, but he is stretching the truth, I think, a LOT, to his advantage. At least until someone wiser than him points out his less than truthful history.

Now, for me, I could say I’ve been a professional writer for 20 years, but I haven’t. Yes, I write, and have written scripts, Day in the Life stories, proposals, grants, and I had an article I wrote for VW Times (or some car mag VW related), that was published and I was paid $45 bucks. That doesn’t make me a professional writer as far as I’m concerned, and I think it’s been about 20 some odd years here and there.

I could say I’m a professional graphic designer. I used to do that as a job, got paid, and was pretty okay at it. But I don’t say I’m a pro.  Same goes for photography. I’m good at it and have a photographer’s eye (since I was 5 I’ve been told), but there are WAY better photographers out there, and I don’t do it professionally, though I did some paid gigs here and there. Music production, audio engineering, stage lighting and sound – all done and they were my jobs at different points in my career.

But I try to be honest about who I am, without “enhancing” my story.

When we lie, we need to keep track of what we said. And then we have to add on to that, and keep more track of it. That to me is way too much work when one could’ve been honest, no matter what, in the first place. Aside from what the Bible says about lying (which is really really bad), it’s just bad in general. It doesn’t build trust, it hurts, and you can lose friends and or family.

In other words, don’t lie.  It won’t get you anywhere, and most likely, will destroy everything you have worked for.

So be honest about who you are. Because someone will aways catch you in a lie, and someday that’s going to come back and bite you.

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