The instance you wish to detach is not fatal
Things in the design industry appeared like alerts, in the little corners of my mind since last year.
I ignored them because design is my happy space and also my safe space. So I didn't lift the curtain.
However, here are some of those things from my TL that stayed in my brain and grew into patterns:
- The great resignation also includes designers.
Throwing f*gma out the window and setting up food trucks or selling their homemade ceramics for good. (I tried a side gig designing custom t-shirts in 2020 and failed exponentially, no regrets).
- Not all senior people in design roles WANT TO PICK between I.C or management, to keep climbing. So they set up their own spaceships. These designers are now CEOs / founders/ changemakers.
- UX designers must fight fires and generally deal with a lot of stress. It’s part of the job. I saw UX people move to very SPECIFIC things to fight less. Like owning design systems, nothing more, nothing less. Still stressful, but it made them happier.
- Designers left the cities. Escaped to wilderness and got jobs to match the new headspace. I spotted a high profile UX’r leave London, move to Japan to freelance as an illustrator, only when needed, and honestly what's more romantic than that.
- The 5 days week workday is adapting. If a lesser salary might benefit your well-being and give you more time back in your life, chasing the 6 figures might not be everyone's goal.
If you are feeling like any of this resonates with you, I’m glad you are here.
What I have LEARNED from other designers in the last 2 years from conversations, DMs, streams, events, lives, and mentoring is that things are changing. Rapidly. Designers are creating CHANGE.
★ It’s okay to be a very passionate designer and love design deeply and choose to do something new that isn't about design. You are allowed to be all the things you could be. There is a door open if you wish to return later.
★ If you feel like taking a chance in a new country, industry, company, or anything that's different … but you’re holding back because the job isn’t a ‘step up the ladder’. Do it anyway. You can still stretch, hopefully, more than just in your career.
Speaking with lots of designers has taught me deeply that labels and titles do not shape your career nor hold you back. Instead, you should move towards opportunities. They are the streams of light amongst plants that grow the tallest.
★ Whatever you are ruminating on … the time is now. If you are ready for a promotion, want to get involved in a different project, share your design knowledge with the world, create something new — do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Speak to your manager, network, listen to MORE designers, start your own project. Right now is the best time.
I wrote this because I felt a designer fall out of love with UX today.
That affected me.
That lead me to reflect deeply on the amazing advice and courage others have given me in my design career, particularly in the recent 2 years.
My hope is that you find this read useful and share it with others.