You have finished your tertiary education; what’s next? You find yourself at the crossroads between being a full time student and a working adult. It’s time to take the plunge and find a job. What job do you choose? The choice of one’s career can be determined by various factors. However, two push factors stand out above the rest – Money and Passion.
Choosing Between Money or Passion
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucius
Confucius makes a very good argument. However, depending on our social needs and standard of living, sometimes a job you love may not pay as well as a job you don’t entirely dislike. The value and worth of designers vary from country to country.
However, we are all familiar with the pressures of reality, mortgages, taxes, and everyday needs. Sometimes we don’t have a choice but to choose money over passion. And for those young and fresh individuals who are not burdened with too many responsibilities they can choose passion over money.
For those who choose passion over money, good on you! For those who choose money over passion, we understand the trappings of reality.
Be a Jack and a Master of One
As freelance designers, very often we wear multiple hats just to sustain ourselves in the business. We are not just a designer, we are also the developer, the photographer, the accountant, and we also have to do our own marketing at times. We are the jack of all trades, but it’d be a pity if we are a master of none.
Image credit: Anya Garett
Saving costs is important, especially when it can mean whether you survive in the business for another day or not. However, we have to weigh the pros and cons in every situation. If we compromise the quality of our work or claim to be an expert at something we are not, it will not reflect well on our integrity and reputation.
Having knowledge on all the necessary skills to stay afloat is a good thing, but branding yourself as a person who can do everything is risky business.
Can you really compare to an industry professional? If your heart is the design aspect of the work, stick to your passion and work on improving your skills in that area. You can be a jack of all trades, but you must also be a master of at least one.
Relight Your Fire
So what is your passion? Have you become bored of being a designer? Are your passions still running high? Every so often it is good to reflect on the choices you made and evaluate where you stand and how you feel about everything, including your career choice.
Think about the reasons why you chose to be a designer and ask yourself if those reasons are still valid. Is being a designer your true passion?
Chatting With Top Designers
As a child we all had fantasies about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Did you in your wildest dreams think you would grow up to be a designer? Some people are naturally talented, but there are some who put in plenty of hard work and practice to be a great designer.
Regardless if you are a natural born talent or nurtured talent, you both share a common bond; you both made the choice to be a designer.
Looking back to the time you made the conscious choice to go down this career path to be a designer, would you still choose to be a designer? Do you have any regrets? If you were given the opportunity for a do over, would you change your mind or would you stay on the same path?
In today’s article, we will hear some of the heartfelt thoughts of established designers from all over the world about the choices they made entering the world of design. Find out what career would they choose if they had a second chance.
25 Top Designers
For this article, we are honored to have gotten the chance to pick a part of the brains of some of the most renowned and successful web designers of today. Get an insight look into their thoughts through their answers to some of the questions we’ve asked them.
- Why they decided to be a designer and whether they have any regrets.
- What other passions and interests they have besides design and what they do for fun.
- If being a designer was a childhood dream of theirs and if they would still choose the same career path if they had a chance at a do over.
- What they have to say to aspiring designers.
We hope that their wisdom and honest sharing with us here will inspire designer hopefuls and give them the strength and courage to forge ahead in their passions.
Here is a list of the designers who participated.
- David Airey (David Airey)
- Alex Ionescu (Crazyleaf Design)
- Jacob Gube (SixRevisions)
- Matthew Heidenreich (DeviseFunction)
- Piervincenzo Madeo (WeGraphics)
- Jan Cavan (Dawghouse Design Studio)
- Inayaili de Leon (Yaili)
- Kat Neville (Safetygoat)
- Jon Philips (SpyreStudios)
- Walter Apai (WebDesignerDepot)
- Grace Smith (Grace Smith)
- Chris Spooner (Spoon Graphics and Line25)
- Brad Colbow (Brad Colbow)
- Brian Nelson (Brian Nelson Design)
- Shay Howe (Shay Howe)
- Yaron Schoen (Yaron Schoen)
- Mario Ocon (Ocon Design)
- Matt Ward (Echo Enduring Media)
- Soh Tanaka (Soh Tanaka)
- Brian Hoff (The Design Cubicle)
- Sneh Roy (Little Box Of Ideas)
- Stuart Thursby (Stuart Thursby)
- Jad Limcaco (Design Informer)
- Casey L. Jones (CLJ Design)
- Jacob Cass (Just Creative Design)
1. Why did you decide to become a designer? Do you have any regrets regarding your decision?
2. Besides design, what are your other passions and interests? What is the other side to the designer we now see and know? (or simply: What do you do for fun – that’s not design related?)
3. Was it your childhood dream to become a designer? If you have the chance to choose another profession, what career path would you choose?
4. What advice would you like give to people who want to become a designer?
Is Design For You?
We hope that you have been inspired by these successful designers. Good design spring forth from great passion and innovation. If you feel that you’ve lost the flame for design, re-evaluate the reasons why you chose this path in the first place. It will give you a better insight as to what to do to get your groove back or whether design should be the path for you.
We would like to thank all the designers who have contributed to this article by sharing their story with us and giving us an insight into who they are.
- Do you have a story of your own to share? Why did you become a designer?
- Do you have any regrets? Besides design, what are your other passions and interests?
- What do you do for fun – that’s not design related? Was it your childhood dream to become a designer?
- If you have the chance to choose another profession, what career path would you choose?
If life gave you a second chance, would you even need it at all?