A skill I was made for (alas) helped me thrive as “editorial” poobah at Adobe Systems, a software company where I worked for fifteen years.
Multi-tasking, its called in today’s vernacular.
I have an intense, racing mind. Energy that can make me difficult to be with. Lead me into complex puzzles. Exhaust me. I recently finished Elena Ferrante’s four fine novels about two girls growing up and living to old age in Italy, especially Naples. Lenu tells the story of her friend, Lila–with the racing mind. I’ve managed to live a mostly boring life, but I could identify with Lila’s curse/ blessing.
On many levels, Adobe was a synchronous match. Go deep in a pinch, but mostly race across multiple domains and on demand provide generalized impressions. That was prized as multi-tasking. I always laughed to friends that in this crazy context, my ignorance was also lauded as a fresh look. Over time I specialized in ignorance of new things–a badge for quick dives, decisions, change.
I was successful. But stressed. Not fully invested. Worried about the speed and the random investiture of my mind’s energy.
That is why I left Adobe. To slow down. Now I have family, a dog, a garden, an island lair, a book. To succeed I must harness that racing mind, go slow, spend time, go deep.