Why I left my first real design job
My path to becoming a designer is probably a lot like yours — I flailed around after college, played in a couple psyche bands, blacked out a bunch. Then, propelled by existential anguish and debt-anxiety, sold my collection of medium format cameras and half-heartedly put myself through a series of tepid vocational attempts until I landed somewhere that didn’t suck my will to live.
Having studied philosophy, critical theory, and art history, I awkwardly constructed a portfolio by copying good designers. Eventually it was good enough to land me a gig at a marketing firm. I felt lucky to be given the opportunity.
Since I was hired about a year ago I’ve learned a ton from my coworkers, met some great designers and engineers, and got involved with building a CMS (coming soon). I’ve had the chance to work on quite a diverse set of projects and through quite a broad scope of tasks. This is why I love design and tech. Everything’s always changing and there’s always room to grow or move laterally. It’s always possible to expand your skill set, learn a new software or add a programming language to your arsenal. Designers are constantly put in positions they have to problem-solve their way out of, and there are always new ways to try and do this. This is why I love design and this is why I’m leaving the gig that gave me my legs.
When I interviewed and was hired behind their backs, I felt ashamed. I felt like I had betrayed my friends. Truth was, after a year I didn’t see the company going anywhere. It was unfortunately mismanaged and fragmented. One day I just realized this no longer had to be my problem.
My goal is to become a better designer, the company was no longer able to harbour this. It’s not personal, it’s about keeping my eyes on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. It’s about staying agile and fluid, not only in my skill set but in my cognition. For me, and for most people I think, staying challenged and stimulated is a part of being happy.
I feel like I just got out of a relationship with someone really quite nice, decent looking, treated me well, just boring as hell.