“Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.” – Jim Rohn
More and more, as the scope and lucrativeness of the Internet increase, web designers are becoming highly sought after. As the design profession gains in demand, its practitioners are put in an interesting position.
The opportunities for growth appear to be limitless, so it is up to each designer to determine their own life path.
It is a very good place to be, although it might feel challenging and overwhelming.
As a web designer, you have to ask yourself, “Where do I want to take my life? What do I want to achieve?”
Why did you decide to become a web designer?
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.
– Steve Jobs
To answer this question, look back at how you got into the design profession. Go back as far as you wish, into your childhood even, when you first put pen to paper and designed the layout of your bedroom.
What feelings, qualities or desires compelled you to become a web designer? Did you fall into the profession by accident? Did you plan for it immediately following high school? Do you plan to continue as a web designer in the future, or is this just a stepping stone to success in another field?
Whether you did it for the money, the creative opportunities, the work-from-home lifestyle, or your dream of designing bigger, better and more famous websites, you’ll find that different aspects of web design hold different futures. All of these futures are guaranteed to be lucrative, but some more so than others. If you bear in mind the spark that made you want to become a designer in the first place, you stand a better chance of being happy with your career path.
The following four tend to be the motivations for web designers continuing along the path:
- Creative outlet;
- Self-determined hours;
- Enjoy coding for visual or experiential design, a mix of left and right brain work;
- The sector is growing, with huge opportunities for profit and advancement.
Web designers might be attracted to the field for all of these reasons, but one or two motivations are generally the strongest for each individual.
To plan your career trajectory, brainstorm a list of things that get you excited about your job. On the other side of the paper or in another document, brainstorm a list of things that you wish you could change about your job.
After, write a short personal narrative about the time when you knew you would be a web designer. The narrative might span several moments of clarity, but in general, with a calling, there is a particular moment when we know exactly what to do with our lives. Again, you may just be designing as a foothold to a more creative pursuit, or you may not know where to go with the job.
Perhaps your dream lies entirely beyond the typical paths of employment. With hundreds of new job descriptions being written every year, you could very well invent your own career. But you have to figure out what you want before you can get there.
Where do you want to go as a web designer?
The difference between a job and a career is the difference between forty and sixty hours a week.