On Transitioning

It’s that time of the year. Spring semester has started across college campuses around the country. I’m back at California College of the Arts in San Francisco teaching my fifth semester of Transition to Professional Practice or TPP. This is a class focused on helping soon-to-be graduates in the Graphic Design department transition from being a student to a professional.

During this class, we work on creating their portfolio and assets to find their first creative opportunity along with covering topics such as finance, freelancing, and tips on interviewing.

The word transition, and even the act of transitioning, has been on my mind the last few months. Every November, I start to think about what happened during the past 11 months along with what the new year might bring. It’s a time where I start to set things in place to help me seek out new and different endeavors and to better improve myself as a person.

This time around, I wasn’t the only one thinking of transitioning. In 2015, I had a number of friends and colleagues who transitioned parts of their lives in order to pursue something more meaningful. Many of them left very comfortable situations to explore and grow into new places where they felt they needed to. Some left their jobs. Some found jobs. Some pushed themselves into uncertain areas. Some learned new skills completely out of their wheelhouse.

They all transitioned from one place to another, from one way of living to another, from one passion to another.

So again, the act of transition has been on my mind lately.

An “Aha moment”

Then I started to look more closely at myself and the work I’ve been producing the past couple of years. I realized that, along with the TPP class I teach at CCA, a number of my side projects and client work centered around transitioning or providing people with the tools and resources they need to transition from one place to another.

Hey! What’s good in __? is a resource guide for creative people to learn what good is happening in their cities. Helping them transition from being a passive resident to an active one, contributing their creative talents to help their community move forward in creating positive change.
Confidence is providing insights from people on the topic of confidence. The interviews and the blog posts on the website are meant to help people transition from having a lack of confidence, a “confidence rut”, to a place where they feel more comfortable and confident with their talents and who they are in hopes f following their desires to do more meaningful work. (New videos and post coming this spring.)
The Social Good Guides are a series of guides to help non-profit founders and social entrepreneurs take their idea to launch. These guides are meant to help people start and sustain their companies to ensure success.
I recently taught a course at General Assembly on Visual Design to a number of mid-career professionals who want to learn more about design. Many of them wanted to transition from a current non-design role at their company to a position a bit more design focused, perhaps within that same company or to start something on their own.
The more I thought about this, the more I started to think about the workshops I facilitate for clients. My workshops are meant to help people come up with fun, achievable, and innovative solutions to their challenges. In other words, I help organizations transition from where they are now to where they want to be, preferably a better place than where they started.

I’m starting to look at 2016 through the lens of transitions. I’m excited to learn more about this and to share my insights from my own work along with my friends and students.

This spring, in parallel with my TPP class, I will produce a short podcast series on the topic of transitioning. This will be targeted towards college students and mid-career professionals pursuing endeavors in the creative space. I’ll cover things we went over during TPP along with any other relevant topics.

What about you? What have you moved away from and working towards? What have you learned from transitioning a part of your life, either personal or professional?

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