When is the right time for you to move on from your job? The answer to that question is personal. For me, it became time when I felt like I was no longer appreciated and valued. It began to take a toll on me. I questioned why am I working here. I love being a designer. I actually liked the work that I was doing. The problem was I didn't like not feeling valued. Enough of that. This is the perfect time to move on.
Competition for jobs is fierce right now. More people are looking for something better and I needed to find something better for me. A job that would allow me to continue working as a freelance designer, but continue to provide opportunities for me to grow in my career. I wasn't prepared to start throwing out my resume and portfolio just yet. The first thing you should do when you decide to change jobs is review your resume, cover letter, and for me I needed to look at my portfolio. I had worked with my previous company for eight years. That is a long time for a designer. I knew that I had some really cool pieces I could include in my portfolio from this position.
My style had certainly evolved. I have always been a minimalistic designer. I want a piece to grab the attention of the viewer. A piece of marketing material needs to connect with the viewer. If that simple interaction doesn't happen then your design has failed. I took some time to evaluate my portfolio. I even asked some of my friends and co-workers to look over my portfolio. I am really hard on myself and honestly HATE designing for myself. It is difficult because as a designer we are really close to the work. There are times that you need to hear the opinions of others to help complete the job. It is easy to start personal projects and never finish them. I couldn't do that this time. I needed to complete the task in order to begin searching for a new job.
My portfolio was coming together. I placed my strongest work in the portfolio and designed a layout that I feel in love with. That really doesn't happen when I work on projects for myself. I like my designs, but I don't normally fall in love with personal projects. When I started reviewing my portfolio I enjoyed the results and started to remember the scope of the projects and how I ended up with the final solution. It was during this time of reflection that I understood I needed to insert how I came to this solution. I needed to put short snippets of the problem and how the design solved the problem. My portfolio became more than a look-book. It had evolved into a book with mini case studies. This was one way a hiring manager would see how I solved problems without speaking to them. This would become very important later on.
The next step in my journey was to look and see the type of jobs in the market. I knew I really didn't want to return to an office. I feel in love with working from home. I didn't think that working from home would be right for me, but I was wrong. I noticed that my productivity increased. People couldn't just stop at my desk and disturb me. I could really focus on my projects and turn them around quickly. I knew that working remotely was the right fit for me. The pandemic changed the work culture for many companies. I started seeing a lot of remote positions. When I decided to get into the job market I really put myself out there. My first month was just spent on sending my resume and portfolio to companies. I applied to 43 positions in the first month.
It didn't take long to start seeing some responses. At first, I started to feel like I would never find a new job. I kept receiving rejection emails. I had received 13 before I got my first interview. What amazed me is that it was from one of the companies I really wanted to hear from. This was great! I get the interview and everything went well. While waiting for a follow-up email I was turned down for a few more positions and I received another interview request from another company that I wanted to work for. This felt like the perfect time to look for a new job.
I interviewed with the second company and I felt that it went even better than the first. I didn't have to wait long to hear back from the second company. The next week I had a second interview. Again, this interview felt like it went really well. Obviously, it did because I had a final interview scheduled for the next week. It felt really good getting this far in the interview process.
However, I wasn't going to let my emotions take over. I had been in this position before. Honestly, I had been this close so many times that I couldn't let me guard down. I am glad that I didn't, because the first company sent me an email stating that I didn't make it to the next round in the hiring process. That humbled me and helped me to continue to send out my resume and portfolio even though I had a final interview coming.
The day of my final interview I felt nervous. I really wanted this job. It would help change how I was feeling. I needed to get away from the negative feelings I was having and work on some different projects. My final interview lasted 2 hours and I spoke with 3 different people. To be honest, I was relieved to end the process. Now all I had to do was wait.
I was told that they would make a decision by the end of the week. My interview took place on a Tuesday. So I had to sweat it out until Friday or into the next week. Even though I was waiting for the outcome of this final interview I knew I couldn't stop applying for jobs.
I spent a couple of hours looking at the new job listings and sent a few resumes out. This is how I deal with the possibility of being rejected. Wednesday I received an email. I wasn't sure if I wanted to open it. The subject line was a little vague. When I decided to open it I had to read it twice. I then called my wife and read it to hear. I was very happy to see I was offered the position. The feelings that I had told me that I was doing the right thing and needed to move on from my current job. I had found a company that I wanted to work for. They had the right compensation and benefits package, but the most important aspect of this job was the company culture.
It is important to discover if the company culture is the right fit. During the interview process I spoke with people that have more than 20 years of experience with the company. This blew me away. That length of service with a company is something that isn't common. Everyone was using the same language to describe to company. It didn't feel like a script. The culture of the company felt natural and that this company was a place that people truly enjoyed.
When you dread going to work everyday there is something wrong. It doesn't matter if you really enjoyed working along side a great team. I loved my team members and some of the leaders. The reason I dreaded going to work everyday was due to the fact that I didn't feel I had a voice in the visual identity of the brand. I had become a production designer and that is something that I never wanted to do. My passion for design and branding made me want more. The only way to satisfy those feelings were for me to find a better fit with a company that would value everything I offer as a designer and a member of a marketing team.