DesignX Discussions: What’s your backup plan?

If you weren’t a designer, what would you do instead? Check out the highlights from our latest #TopicOfTheWeek discussion!

Every week, we pose a question to our members to shake up the conversation and involve everybody. This is our #TopicOfTheWeek recap.

We’ve all had those long days (and even longer weeks) where we find ourselves sitting at our desks, daydreaming about doing something else. Of course, we quickly snap out of it, realize that creating delightful user experiences and beautiful designs is an incredible way to pay the bills.

But what if you woke up one day, and design was no longer a career option? What would you do instead?

That’s what we asked our community this week, and boy oh boy, did they deliver.


Pursuing other creative interests

Some of the answers weren’t big surprises; a lot of people said they’d get into video game development, photography, tattooing, music, filmmaking, interior design, comic book writing, and furniture making. Lots of people also spoke about becoming a chef and baker. Maybe we’ll get them to help cater the next DesignX event…

As you can see, there was a lot of interest in creative fields that don’t stray from the design path. Even some careers like psychologist or therapist aren’t a far stretch, considering a big part of design is empathizing with others.


Walking away from design

However, there were some absolute curveballs. When we first asked people what they would do for a living if they weren’t designers, we never would have expected to hear that multiple people would be interested in pursuing astronomy or space travel, becoming an arborist or dietician, or even marine biology (Costanza? That you?)

Between the dreams of becoming an artist or Art Vandelay, here are some of the other interesting, unexpected responses we got from the community:

  • Politician
  • Anthropologist
  • Ultra-distance runner
  • Hairstylist
  • Ceramics creator
  • Neurologist
  • Meditation teacher
  • Blacksmith
  • Librarian/Archivist
  • Data scientist
  • Motorcycle mechanic
  • Zoologist
  • Animal activist
  • Motivational speaker/self-help coach
  • Carpenter
  • Behavioural scientist
  • and more!

What would you do if you weren’t a designer?

If you stepped away from the screen, what would you pursue? Would you stay in a digital, creative field? Or would you try something completely different and work with your hands? Or would you be like one of the three community members who said they’d follow their dream of becoming an F1 driver?

Whatever your plan B is, we want to hear about it! Comment below, or join the DesignX Slack groups (Toronto & NYC) and connect with other like-minded creative people in the community.