Curiosity as a driving force.
Johan Elisson is an Information Architect specialist, who didn’t think he would grow up to work with product information. But curiosity led him on the right path. Read his story about always wanting to learn more.
Have you ever looked something up on Wikipedia, and then found yourself reading about something completely unrelated an hour later? Then you are just like me. I have always been curious about everything around me, no matter the subject.
Triggered by a TV-series
As a kid, I could spend hours browsing through the volumes of the encyclopaedia we had at home. There was no specific purpose; I just wanted to know more about anything that turned up on a randomly chosen page. Nowadays there is usually some kind of trigger, but I will still end up reading about something completely random. After watching the “Chernobyl” TV series, I found myself reading up on RBMK reactors, which led to Soviet politics, then on to the Latvian independence movement and finally the history of the Baltics. If someone asks something I do not know, I will make sure to read up on the answer for the next time someone else asks the same question (however unlikely).
Every day is different
What I find so satisfying about working within Product Information is that we work with a wide range of different industries and customers. In my role as an Information Architect specialist, no day is the same. One day I may need to understand how a telecom network is set up, the next day I am helping a customer with an information strategy for their mining equipment. I also get the opportunity to be curious about everything from knowledge graphs and artificial intelligence, to tone of voice and graphical guidelines.
I never grew up wanting to work with product information. Like most my colleagues, I never studied technical communication at any level of education. We have usually studied communication and have an interest for technology, or have studied technology and have an interest for communication. We have all come to where we are by being curious, learning as we go along. I sincerely believe that curiosity is a much more important success factor than having a specific education or background.
New answers with stupid questions
One way to be curious is to question old habits. I vividly remember the time I asked a long-time customer a stupid question about a certain process and why they did not do it in another, seemingly better, way. The kind of question you expect a “because this and that” answer to. It turned out that no one had thought about it. Soon after, we changed the process leading to both cost-savings and better quality control.
For me, curiosity itself is my driving force, even if the knowledge I gain has no immediate use. However, I also understand that the more we learn about our world, our customers, and ourselves, we gain new tools and insights that we can put to use. We can make the world a better place, we can provide new solutions to our customers, and finally, we can develop as human beings.
Name: Johan Elisson
Title: Information architect and specialist at Product Information
Education: BSc in Engineering Physics, unfinished MSc in Engineering Mathematics and Computational Science, Chalmers University of Technology
Worked at Semcon since: 2012
I have most fun at work when I…: work with colleagues and customers that want to improve – themselves, a product, or a solution. In the end it all leads back to having a chance to be curious and learn new things in one way or another.
About Semcon Stories
A series of articles for everyone wondering what it’s like to work at Semcon. With Semcon Stories our employees get to highlight certain exciting aspects of their jobs.