As an early or mid-career designer, it wasn’t easy to know what I should focus on. Should I focus on honing my craft, or work on diverse projects? Should I prioritise working with people I look up to or taking on bigger roles?
So here are the three tips that I share with everyone I talk to. These have guided my decisions along the past five years and allowed me to open myself up to new opportunities as they arose.
Focus on your impact
Most designers usually get into Design because they want to make a difference in the world. Often, however, we fall into a trap where we design for the sake of designing because we enjoy the process. I suggested that we take a step back every so often and assess the impact of our design. This helps ensure that at the end of the day, we can put our hands on heart and say that we did make the world a better place.
Learn from everything
There are a lot of challenges in Design, whether it’s going into a new culture, working with people whose values you don’t align with, or having a difficult conversation. Every single challenge is an opportunity to learn. Ask yourself this question:
What can I learn from this?
Enjoy the diversity
One of the things I’ve absolutely loved about becoming a Designer is the diversity of projects, people and industries. In the last five years, I’ve been able to work across agriculture, nutrition, government services, disaster resilience and education.
Use these three tips to understand what you’re interested in and what you enjoy. For example, I quickly learnt that I like:
- Working on multiple projects at the same time
- Working across different problems and cultures
- Focusing on social impact-driven work
What tips would you share with other designers? Let me know!