Understanding your job

Sometimes, I feel a lack of progression when it comes to the work I do as a designer. While my job is unmistakably interesting, overtime, as my craft improves, the learning curve lessens and things become somehow systematic.

Over time, I forget my aspirations and goals as a designer. Did I want to look into furniture making? Did I want to create my own typeface? Would I be interested in running a team?

I started questioning myself on the progression I seek, and I figured the best way to figure it out is to have an ultimate destination in mind.

Now this is what I do. It is times like this that I look at job offers in the market, and I look at roles that I see myself in. If my next position is as a senior designer, I would browse through the presented offers and filter the requirements that other companies are looking for. I then take this information and apply it to my work.

Take this for example, I look at the requirements, and I source for what I am lacking. It doesn’t even have to be design related, it could be a matter of being punctual in the workplace, that I would like to improve on.

Skills: Extensive knowledge in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and basic HTML coding.
Role: The ideal candidate will be a self-starter that brings his/her rock star design skills to the table and also revels in pushing the boundaries to deliver cutting edge and creative design to our clients.
Key Responsibilities:
1)     Translates ideas into effective design – including Social Media, digital, web, identity, and more.
2)     Comfortable taking a design from brief to concept to polished deliverable
3)     Manage workflow (which includes multiple projects at one time) and productivity in accordance with product schedules, budgets, and creative goals.
4)     Stay up-to-date on cutting edge design throughout the industry.
5)     Develop 30 second to 2 minute customer videos to be used on social media sites, blogs, etc.
6)     Take photos, when necessary, for design use.
7)     Continuously find solutions and provide ideas about how we can help our customers generate more leads around design.
8)     Ensure overall creativity and quality of our products.
9)     Project management and fulfillment, which includes: designing; coding and distributing emails; working with print house to ensure all material is designed properly for printing and printed on time; obtaining price quotes from print houses; tracking all project fees; notifiying team and customers when materials are sent, etc.
Critical Competencies:
  • Technical mastery – Solid design skills with 2-5 years experience (and a portfolio that reflects it). Bachelor’s degree in graphic design, interaction design, or related discipline. Experience designing for print, digital and web and identity. A wizard in Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign. HTML coding a plus.
  • Organization & planning – Must be able to prioritize and successfully manage multiple projects/deadlines. Plans, organizes, and schedules in an efficient, productive manner. Focuses on key priorities.
  • Intelligence  Strong problem solving skills. Demonstrates ability to quickly and proficiently understand and absorb new information.
  • Proactive  Resourceful and shows initiative. Has the desire to continuously improve skills and experience and a drive to push new boundaries. Identifies what needs to be done and does it before being asked or before the situation requires it.
  • Efficiency – Must be able to thrive in a fast-paced collaborative agency environment. Able to produce significant output with minimal wasted effort.
  • Work ethic – Possesses a strong willingness to work hard and sometimes long hours to get the job done. Has a track record of working hard.
  • Attention to detail – Exceptional eye for detail. Ensuring final projects and tasks are flawless by the time the customer sees it.
  • High standards – Expects personal performance and team performance to be nothing short of the best.
  • Attention to communication – The ability to ensure information is passed on to others who should be kept informed. Strong client services and communication skills.
  • Reliable – The entire team knows you will do what you commit to and what was asked of you.
  • Attitude – The ability to stay positive, upbeat and not only say, “yes” to our customers requests, but take it a step further as part of our “yes and…attitude” and philosophy.
  • Big Picture Thinking: The ability to take the knowledge of a customer’s company and suggest other things we can or should be doing to help them achieve their goals.

I use this information, to aim for the position I seek, and the next jump I see in my career. It is not a full proof plan, but guidelines are always better then nothing.



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