I realized the other day that I’ve been designing for 10 years now! In the book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell talks about becoming a master after 10 years. I don’t feel like I’m the master of anything, but I do feel like I know some things. I had a young designer ask for advice recently, and I agreed to a phone call. Two hours into the call I realize I’m answering all the questions and I knwo A LOT more than I imagined. I want to make a better effort to share what I know. That’s exactly how I learned, through others sharing their insight online. For starters, as I’ve been reflecting a lot on my career, I’ve compiled a list.
10 Things I’ve Learned in 10 years of Design
- If you want to try something new, do it. Don’t wait for permission.
- Always be mindful of your interests. Any partner, client, or employer you work with will always have their interests in mind. It’s only right you do too.
- Make time for family and friends. Work isn’t everything. There will be very very shitty days. Make sure you have an escape outside of design to clear your mind.
- Don’t stop learning. This field changes daily. You never know everything.
- More money ≠ More Happiness. This is the biggest cliche, but it’s one that you don’t fully grasp until you personally live it.
- Be honest, do good work. That has singlehandedly held be through my career. I have clients that still call me after 10 years after various business name changes.
- Everyone has their own path. Don’t compare your path to another designer. Unique opportunities will present themselves, so long as you focus on the right things.
- Trends come and go. Don’t worry to much about what’s in. Rather focus on the things that never change. Pay attention how after every season, there are things that simply don’t go away. Hold on to those.
- Learn as much as you can outside of design. Learn how to code, learn project management, learn business, or even learn how to farm. Take on every opportunity to learn something new as this opens up your creative perspective.
- Ask for more money. Stop selling yourself short, you deserve more.
As a public commitment, I’m going to publish something new on design every Wednesday. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer regarding design, submit the form below.