I have found in general as someone who works in IT talking about your job and what you have been up in none IT social circles does not go down too well. IT tends to hold little interest to those outside of the industry, except, of course, for the “You work in IT don’t you? could you help with my Laptop problem?”
I have found, however, some rules that I have learned through IT have been of great benefit in my personal and social life. One of these relates to problem solving.
I learned quite early in my career that often, when explaining a problem to someone, all they needed to do was listen. The process of having to clearly explain a problem to someone meant that you had to structure the problem in a clear and orderly fashion, quite often that was all that was needed to allow the solution to be seen.
While working with colleagues I have used the same process and seen similar results. When asked if I can help with a problem, I have asked them to consider and explain the issue to me as logically as they can. On many occasions, I have not had to say a word, I have just listened and watched their eyes light up when they see the answer for themselves.
A few years ago I built a Westfield Kit Car, during the build I kept a blog. It was during this process that I encountered a slight variation to the “Explaining a problem helps to solve the problem”. On many occasions I would finish the day pondering upon some issue I could not fathom only for the solution to come to me while updating my blog. I soon realized that updating the blog was very much the same as explaining the problem to someone else. To update the blog, I needed to clearly and logically explain the issue that I had encountered, doing this meant that I had to properly structure the jumble of thoughts into a coherent description of the problem.
The moral of the story, if you’ve no one to explain your problem to then try to explain it by writing it down in a way others would understand, you will be amazed how often you will see the answer yourself.