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What does it take to level up your design career? Having grown my career over the past seven years as a Product Designer, here is some advice: build marketable skills, proactively seek impactful scope, and align your career path with passion!
Build marketable skills
The core technical skills of a designer include product thinking, interaction design, and visual design. Which one of these skills do you want to master?
My career at Facebook started with enterprise tools design. This allowed me to be skilled in product thinking. However, I wanted to refine my interaction design and visual design skills to be an expert in the industry.
Therefore, I intentionally transitioned into the consumer-facing world, even if it was beyond my comfort zone. I enhanced my technical skills by creating designs with pixel-perfect quality daily. To train my prototyping skills, I learned the Origami app during the pandemic. You can check out my journey and gain some insights here.
Your focus should be on building skills that fit the market demand.
Proactively seek impactful scope
Does your project impact the company metrics? What is the usage of the product you design? Do you own the project and make the final product decisions?
In my personal example, when working on enterprise tools, I had a significant role by fully owning and defining roadmaps for two tools. This wasn’t the case after transitioning to consumer-facing products — my role was diminished. Instead of designing entire tools, I oversaw features. Rather than having full control, I needed to share decision-making with more designers. The upside of this trade-off was my scope increased by 56000x more users.
You are the driver in your career decisions. It is up to you to proactively seek impactful scope to maximize your skills to stand out in the job market.
Align your career path with passion
How can you compliment your career path with your passion? Do you wake up excited and motivated to design your projects? If not, what energizes you?
Choose a career that suits your passion will motivate you. If you have not found your enthusiasm yet, you can start by searching inside yourself. I am passionate about helping people stay connected. So I chose to work on social media.
Where do you spend most of your time? Fitness, writing, or continuous learning? Taking time to explore your interests will lead you to a career path that aligns with your passion.
Build marketable skills, proactively seek impactful scope and align your career path with passion are strategies that helped grow my career. By applying this advice to your career, you can also level up!
Remember: You are the designer in your career path.
Special thanks to Anthony and Susan for their feedback. If you are breaking into the design industry, check out my other article on how to develop the core skill sets.
Level up your design career with skills, scope, and passion was originally published in Muzli – Design Inspiration on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.