Craig Janssen leads Salas O’Brien’s acoustics, theatre, and technology team, where he helps leaders navigate shifts in technology and audience engagement. He is also a passionate collaborator, culture champion, and idea generator, having delivered a 2016 Ted Talk at TEDxPlano titled Will Future Generations Want What We Build?

In this Q&A, Craig shares his perspective on establishing a lasting and purposeful career.

What career advice would you offer a new college graduate in the acoustics and technology field?

A few things come to mind.

Some of the best advice I was given early in my career was to focus on areas of strength rather than pouring energy into shoring up weaknesses.  When you learn to pour your energy into your areas of strength and team with others who are strong in areas where you are not, you will go far fast.

Building a career is a marathon. It requires persistence, practice, and mastery of basic skills that you grow over time. This mastery of the skills in your craft can build a passion for the work. Becoming good at something and having impact creates an internal momentum that can pay big dividends over time.

Also, apply your gifts—the things you do where you make it look easy. When passion and gifting align, they are a huge force multiplier.

With these mindsets, your career will accelerate.

What does our brand tagline “engineered for impact” mean to you?

I leave the office every day knowing we did something that made a positive impact on people’s lives through the buildings we work on.  We exist to make life better – creating spaces where people can connect, work, play, worship, live, and protect.

As a society, we are facing unprecedented rates of change. Our work in buildings and venues directly impacts the experience of people in the world. Not only am I energized by serving with a team who is making things better, but I’m also fueled by the exponential impact that this purpose-driven work has.

What do you love most about your job and working here at Salas O’Brien?

It sounds cliché, but for me it’s the people and the purpose. Salas O’Brien is a place where the values communicated are real, lived out, and pushed at all levels. The relationships are meaningful and the work is inspiring.

I consider myself lucky to work with people I like, on projects that improve lives. What else could I want!?

If you weren’t in the office, what would we find you doing?

My work is engaging, and a big part of my life, but I also know it’s essential to maintain a healthy balance—career, family, personal wellbeing, and fun. Outside of work you’ll find me working out, eating out with family, mixing sound at my church, and racing cars. One thing I really enjoy is serving as a High Performance Driver Education coach which has me out on the track developing highly tuned drivers in a safe environment.

Hear more from Craig:

Consulting-Specifying Engineer podcast: Craig Janssen on designing venue spaces

2016 TEDxPlano Ted Talk: Will Future Generations Want What We Build?

Additional Salas O’Brien news and insights.