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Are You the Only Designer?

I recently just read an article on First Round Review about being the only designer at work. This had me thinking since my last job, I was the only designer there. And hated it. Throughout the article, Jeffery Kalmikoff describes why he took the job that scared the shit out of him, and gives some tips on how to succeed in that kind of environment.

My second job out of college was the most amazing job I have had thus far. I was scared  as hell to take it because I honestly had no business being in the design field…but I thought if they were taking the chance on hiring me, by god I was going to excel. And I did, well, I hope I did. I was just recently in an interview and I told the Assoc. CD that I never want to be the smartest anything in the room. He kind of gave me an odd look and then realized where I was going with this. I think you should always be able to learn something; and when you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s time to get going. I owe a lot of my design development to that second job for being one of the most novice people they probably hired (and I’m ok with that). 🙂

“Never stop thinking of your co-workers as users and getting their ideas for what could be better.  They care as much as you do.”

This brings me to #2 on Jeff’s list, and it’s so true. My first company was very leave me alone, I’m in my cubby-hole doing my work. And I was reprimanded for not asking opinions more often. So, when I did, I was shot down every, single time–but without a solution or critique. When I asked another person, they praised my work…I was so confused. When I went to work for an actual design firm, such a difference! It was amazing with all of the collaboration work–I never knew it could be such fun and the work spoke for itself.

“The fact that we are designers says that we look at the world and hate what we see, and we’re egotistical enough to think we can make it better. It’s part of who we are.”

In conclusion, if you are the only designer–try to make the best of it. Try to turn it into what you want to make of it and, in the end, what you can be proud of to say that not only you worked there, but you helped build it to what it is today.

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By lkranak

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