The Frantic Designer - I’m all for sharing success stories of how people were able to shift and find the job that makes them so passionate it doesn’t even feel like work. Unfortunately, with this story, I can’t find a way to sugar coat it. I just caught up with a good friend and it was so incredibly depressing to hear his story that I didn’t know what to do about it. I thought how much I’d hate to see this story repeat itself because I’m fully committed to seeing the design industry thrive and I hope that by reading this story you’ll be able to avoid going down the same path he did.
When I met Marcus at an event two years ago he was trying to get out of his dead-end corporate job. Even though he was a promising designer, somewhere along the way he lost himself and was now trying to figure out his next move. He was powering through networking, he had applied for more than 45 jobs in the past 6 months and gotten nowhere past the first interview. Marcus said he was “doing fine diversifying his job search” keeping a wide range of applications: “from Director of Innovation at a CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) company, to business development for a consultancy to Design Manager of a real estate agency.”
No wonder he couldn’t pass the first interview! There’s a big difference between a diversified search and a scattered search. Diversification with a reason and purpose but if there’s no rhyme or reason to the moves in your career then you just looked scattered. Marcus’s search was absolutely scattered; it was noticeable how lost and confused he was, and that’s a major red flag for any employer.
I knew Talent Strategies would help him figure out his space in the industry, but he turned it down saying he wanted to invest in graduate school. I told Marcus he shouldn’t go back to school if he didn’t know which direction he wanted to go in. Grad school wasn’t going to solve his problems, it could be more than 50k and time wasted.
He could be finding jobs that made him thrive and focusing his talents on the career path that would make him grow to his full potential. Grad school was an unnecessary expenditure when he desperately needed to focus on his strategy and consolidate his toolkit to be ready for his dream job.
That was two years ago. Now, he told me how on interviews after graduate school, companies would tell him even though he had a masters degree he still didn’t have the relevant experience or qualified skill-set. “I don’t get it, I have a graduate degree now.” I bit my tongue and kept myself from saying “I told you so.”
Today Marcus is still in that same dead-end job but now there are layoffs, and he can hear the clock ticking. He’s more panicked, applying for every job out there running himself ragged. After two years of trying to discover his career path by himself he ended up basically in the same place but now he has more debt.
The thing is, since the beginning, he lacked a plan and was avoiding what he really needed to do the most: take a deep dive into all the things he was doing wrong to figure out what he needed to do right.
I offered my help through our Talent Strategies program again out of courtesy but I knew if he couldn’t see the trap he was in, he wouldn’t understand how Talent Strategies could help. You can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped.
If any of this sounds a little too close to home you need to get off the hamster wheel and start building a strategy for your career path.
Imagine the feeling of finding your place in the design industry, that place where your skill set is most valued and you’re creating great impact. There is a place in design where you’ll thrive, stay in it and make it big, but you need to find it before it’s too late. That window of opportunity won’t last forever.
Get ready to move away from the sidelines and switch to the fast lane that will take you to your dream job. Let’s get you out of being stuck and into success, please save me from hearing about another designer who fell out of the design industry. Schedule a Strategy Call with me.
Committed to your success,