Weekly Recap #12: Finding Substance
How I’m trying to level up this week in the design world 👊
I’m always trying to figure out the best way to structure these weekly recaps. Do I literally just highlight important events during the week? Do I share trivial progress that I’ve made for the same project(s) I’ve been working on for the past month? Is that something that’s even helpful to potential readers?
Not sure, I’ve hardly gotten feedback (whoops).
But for the sake of this week’s recap, I’m just going to do a quick dive into progress on all fronts, proceeded by a deep(er) dive into a couple topics of interest. So with that, the quick dive:
- Quora for Tritons is no-longer a priority 😢 ; I’d love to keep working in a PM capacity, but a lack of progress/participation from my team made it too hard to remedy
- The screens for my Overwatch app 🎮 were supposed to be — for the most part — completed so I could test them with people; that ended up being a no-go just ’cause I didn’t make time for it
- Still trying to cope with my second-shift situation; 3PM-12AM is quite a wonky time to be working, and the motivation to work has been hard to pick up #shame
- Some quick initial research was done for two projects me and a friend — Brendan Norris — are trying to start; definitely a lot of helpful insights that weren’t thought of initially 📝
Double-down on podcasts
two podcast episodes, for your listening pleasure
Last week’s recap didn’t include anything about Up+Coming, so I’m doing a back-to-back posting of the two most recent episodes now! We dove into user research and portfolios, separately of course. Both topics are super important, especially if you’re a designer that’s looking to level up in the industry:
Have a listen! If you like what you hear, feel free to follow us on Twitter @upncomingdesign. We’re always looking for topic suggestions moving forward and want to do our best to provide you listeners with good, helpful content!
Bonus: The episode where I was a guest on the Trav and Los podcast is now out! Part 1, at least. We dive into my background, with Part 2 (releasing this week) on the progression of the Up + Coming podcast itself. Enjoy. 🎊
Taking my own medicine
seriously, why is it so hard to do?
I’ve found that I’m really good at talking and making it seem like I’ve got stuff in the bag. But in reality, my execution on things could use some fine-tuning. I think in this particular moment of time, I’m finding it hard to invest myself in seeing projects or tasks to the end. It’s not so much that I don’t enjoy learning new things, or putting my skills to work. But boy, it feels like I’ve been having a slow onset of *insert everything*-block recently.
Is it because the new competitive season in Overwatch dropped like a week ago? Maybe it’s the fact that I still want to learn front-end dev but there are so many resources and so little time. But let’s face it, it’s probably those things and the scorching weather over the weekend that made being anywhere a non-productive workspace…Who knows. The fact of the matter is I have set myself goals to accomplish for the remainder of my 6-month contract here at Cisco. It’s only right to make sure those things get done. Whether it’s dedicating time to learn front-dev, or doing the necessary research into my side projects to ramp up to something of substance, I need to — as my previous recap claimed — get sh*t done.
This whole writing-it-out thing definitely does help me visualize my workload, though. I suggest you do it to, or do something that helps you document your thoughts. At the end of the day, yes the views and whatnot are nice. But I’m doing this for myself. I want to prove to myself that I can stick to a goal with these weekly recaps. One missed week of doing these is one too many, and even though I am posting this on Tuesday, it was Labor Day weekend and it doesn’t count. So ha!
^ Me making excuses for myself. Which reminds me, don’t keep making excuses for yourself. 😠
Revisiting the job search
for probably the 100th time
Ah yes, no better segue from me trying to motivate myself than hopping back on the job hunt. As I said, my Cisco contract ends in 6 months. No longer will I be filling the support role as test engineer, aka time to look for work that’s actually within the realm of my passion. Nothing against Cisco, just don’t want to be a test engineer for the rest of my life. Why sit in a test chamber when you can help make beautiful products that deliver seamless experiences? 🚀
So there are endless resources when it comes to the job search and I definitely won’t try to bore you with the details. But, this is basically what I’m currently doing and if you find this information useful then by all means. As a junior designer, I found particularly helpful an article written by the lovely Tara Mann. You’ll find this in her article, but I too have devised a spreadsheet to better visualize the progress I’m making when it comes to applying for positions.
Lastly: If you’re reading this and your team is looking to hire a designer, feel free to reach out! I’d love to chat and I’m always interested in pursuing new opportunities. Anything that lets me learn and work with like-minded individuals is always a yes for me. 👌