Be a Designer? Embrace Loneliness.
A close friend recently asked me to give their younger sibling some advice, said sibling is to sit the leaving certificate next year and is unsure on what they want to do with themselves like every other 17 year old in the world. I am sure I was at the bottom of a well-worn list but I was happy to pass on whatever knowledge I could and offered what I thought a teenager would like to know, what trends I think are going to come into place in the next 3-5 years and my recommendations for college choices.
I chatted with what turned out to be a very sharp girl who has a keen interest in a lot of fields, obviously being from the same area as myself, she knew what I do for a living. We chatted about website design as a possible career for her and I immediately had a couple of alarm bells ringing once she informed me of her wish to be a part/lead of a "dynamic team" that she can lean on when needed. This immediately made my recommendations a lot easier, I told her to focus on things like digital marketing and other team-based fields as designing, regardless of the specific area (Digital, Fashion, Literature, Art, etc.) can be a lonely business.
This has been my experience so far and I cannot see it changing in the near future. Thankfully I am what label happy psychologists consider an "introvert". I have always been happy with my own company and the majority of the time I prefer to be by myself both in terms of work and social situations. I have found this to be conducive for work as it allows me to really focus on projects and complete them quickly without sacrificing quality.
This "loneliness" is a real strength but it is not for everyone, some very talented people need to be working within a team to truly flourish while others, like myself, prefer to work alone. Neither approach is 100% right and I think you need to dip into one whilst embracing the other the majority of the time to be successful in your field. I have friends who help me with online projects who are incredibly happy to be involved in as many group projects as possible and I have other friends who have managed to make themselves completely Google proof (This is something I have tried to do & really is to be admired!).
I probably exemplify the majority of the myths put forward about introverted people and am quite happy about this. Spending the vast majority of the last 3 years working by myself for amazing people has allowed me to become completely at ease with being alone. I have found I flourish when left to my own devices and can struggle within a team dynamic although I am trying to improve (A steep learning curve!)
I am sure my new found friend will find her passion at some stage but designing can be a lonely route and it is not for everyone and told her as such. She thanked me for my time and advice and decided to mull things over for the time being after our conversation while I went back to my peaceful solitude happy in the knowledge that I have embraced the designer's path of "loneliness", where the only things truly needed are a passion for work, a colossal iTunes library and an expensive set of headphones.
Myth #2: Introverts don’t know how to relax, have fun and are rude.
Truth: That is just our face, resting bitch face is pretty gender fluid. 😁😏👌