For eight years, I worked as a graphic designer. And for eight years, I had a pretty fun job. I love art and enjoy design, but I never quite felt fulfilled in my position. The passion other designers have wasn’t there for me. I didn’t have fonts memorized and can’t name too many designers or sweet design firms off hand. But I enjoyed the process.
Key word: PROCESS.
I became obsessed with it. Over time, I became more passionate about standards, efficiency, and critically thinking of better ways to run projects. A little over a year ago, Tim Washburn and Scott Berchman offered me an opportunity to take that passion and run with it – by becoming a Project Manager in the Creative department at Nomadic. This was both exciting and terrifying. Do I give up what I’ve been working so hard for? What I went to school (and am in tons of debt) for? I’d be taking a position I’d have to define and figure out as I go. Plus, what if I get bad at design or forget how to use Photoshop?! I was torn.
Then Tim gave me some great advice:
“You could be an art director and you would be good at it, or you could be responsible for establishing a whole new position that you would really excel at.”
That was it; I was convinced. I took the plunge and never looked back!
I definitely miss designing. It’s a pretty amazing feeling to see something you created out in public and say, “I created that.” Now, I’m able to use my design skills in a different way. I’ve found I enjoy being more up front in the planning process, and I’m able to make assessments and decisions without bogging down designers.
Nomadic is a pretty cool place.
Egos are left at the door and everyone’s ideas are welcome. In my new position, I would consider myself a creative partner more than a manager. Now I feel more like a proud mom that brags about her kids. I even have a piece from one of our projects on my fridge at home!
It’s never too late to find what you’re great at. Follow your passion. If a new career opportunity comes your way, jump on it! I’m fortunate to work for a company that made it possible for me to do just that.