Updated: Jul 8, 2020
As told by JP Anderson....
Aspiring web developers this is for you. Social responsibility is defined as having the conversational skills, in order to be able to encourage others to feel comfortable around you. If you are a developer, this is one way you can make clients willing to share more with you - a necessary step to foster relationship.
I have been poor at my social responsibility before, when I was growing into my career and understanding how diverse the meaning of the term can be. I was at a birthday party and my friend's bff did a toast. When I had a sip I said “wow this is bitter!” - little did I know this was a no-no. I quickly apologized as I meant to use the term “dry” as protocol, safe to say though the bff - who was in client talks to me - effectively cut me off. I can share that story because it was a point in my career where I can forgive myself for that blunder.
For you as a reader, it is a big warning sign of what to do when going out: only give compliments, because people love them and you want to always be neutral and safe when your work related identity is in a fresh developmental phase.
Pulling off my social responsibility has paid off for me at parties also. I met a guy named Dominic at a house party (where we had no toasts) and bonded over our mutual friends, similar experiences, careers, and even mortgages! These are safe topics you can be socially responsible about in shared spaces. When it came to career talks, Dominic introduced me to many people after we exchanged numbers, and I found my best clients through him. I’m forever grateful for that. Always find what is interesting to both you and the next person, you don’t have to have a particularly funny or anxious discussion if you’re shy - stick to the positive or neutral topics - nothing is wrong with that.
Sometimes social responsibility means setting boundaries for yourself, because you need to be comfortable too! Everyone is not going to be your client so don’t worry about it. I have walked away from clients, I have refused to work on teams, and I have set clear guidelines for how I work. Social responsibility here meant that I needed to prevent existing clients from going too far when asking for much. Once you put your all into your discovery (asking the client deep questions relating to their business), and you craft a researched proposal (a presentation of how you will come to a solution), you should not feel pressured to do things that are not as valuable. Responsibly set career rules to save yourself from sleepless nights, impossible targets and vertigo.
You can fail at social responsibility, succeed, and even redefine it. The basis of social responsibility remains to have great manners and to do your best to ensure that the others around you are comfortable. The comfort of someone else can bring glistening opportunities into your life.
John-Paul Anderson is a software engineer specializing in high conversion websites for retail and hospitality businesses. Born Jamaican, he operates regionally with a deep knowledge of e-commerce, easy to use interfaces, and lean scalable systems.
To contact John-Paul directly, you can send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free 1-1 vision call with him.