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Gap Year

Postby rjpd » April 14th, 2016, 1:50 pm

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Hi fellow ID people!

I graduated in May 2015 with a BA in Product Design. During my time at university I undertook a 5 month work placement with a design consultancy. Upon leaving university I undertook a few months of freelance work and currently coming to the end of a 6 month internship at a design consultancy.

I have also been tipped off that I will be approached about a potential job opportunity to become a lecturer/teacher on a Product Design course at a college.

I am of course very flattered (should the approach come) and honoured that I have been identified for the job, but I am wondering if it is too soon to step away from the design industry? Also how would my chances of finding employment in the design industry be if I did a full academic year of teaching and then decided to go back into ID? I don't want to cut ties with the ID industry completely as this is what I trained for at university. I am kind of seeing the opportunity as a gap year - but with an emphasis on teaching as opposed to going abroad! Will future employers see this as a year well spent?

Hope you guys can help me!

Thanks

Re: Gap Year

Postby Cyberdemon » April 14th, 2016, 2:48 pm

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From what you've described you aren't taking a "Gap", you are taking a full time job (which you currently do not have).

I would not be concerned about it being looked down upon, but if you plan on transitioning back to professional work you should ask yourself if you should be going into education for just a year (when you've been in school recently) or if you should just move to professional work.

Either way - a gap year is when you decided you were just going to hang out in Thailand for 12 months because you had a trust fund after college. I would not view taking any job in any fashion in a negative light as long as you remain a skilled and capable hire after the fact.

It's another story if you teach for 10 years and then want to get a professional job without knowing any of the latest tools, software, manufacturing techniques, etc.

Re: Gap Year

Postby rjpd » April 14th, 2016, 2:57 pm

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Cyberdemon wrote:From what you've described you aren't taking a "Gap", you are taking a full time job (which you currently do not have).

I would not be concerned about it being looked down upon, but if you plan on transitioning back to professional work you should ask yourself if you should be going into education for just a year (when you've been in school recently) or if you should just move to professional work.

Either way - a gap year is when you decided you were just going to hang out in Thailand for 12 months because you had a trust fund after college. I would not view taking any job in any fashion in a negative light as long as you remain a skilled and capable hire after the fact.

It's another story if you teach for 10 years and then want to get a professional job without knowing any of the latest tools, software, manufacturing techniques, etc.


Cheers Cyberdemon!

Yes essentially it would be taking a full time job, except it would be on a part time (3 day a week) teaching. Which would allow me to do freelance work etc.

I was mainly concerned if I would be at a disadvantage by taking a role like this as opposed to another 'design' role. I say 'design' as a whole; product, graphic, engineering, retail interior etc. as there are so many avenues in which I could go down.

Re: Gap Year

Postby singletrack » April 14th, 2016, 5:20 pm


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I did just this last year. I was working on my own business and freelancing. Got a job teaching part time at a university. Did it for about a year then money was still tight started looking for full-time work and was approached by a recruiter. This new job is the best one I have ever had and the company is very prestiges. So not only in that year did I get to spend every day with my new born son and do quite a lot of actives I have passion for but I ended up ahead of were I was by quite a lot.

I think there were a few factors at play one was I had already had 5 years of experience working full-time. Which I think helps a lot in a situation like this. Also I was working in a number of different facets so I was not just bumming around. But I think my previous experience was what made it all possible because with that I had a proven track record so people could trust I knew what I was doing. The opportunity played into it also because I had all of the right experience and they were looking for something very particular.

So yes if you took the teaching gig you could still get back into the industry. But I feel I got very lucky and my case was special and it will depend on a number of factors. Because I did it I would say yes more then likely you can do it. But as with all career dicsions weight them against what might happen and what has happened to you in the past.

Re: Gap Year

Postby Dan Lewis » April 15th, 2016, 7:41 am

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I graduated in May 2015 with a BA in Product Design. During my time at university I undertook a 5 month work placement with a design consultancy. Upon leaving university I undertook a few months of freelance work and currently coming to the end of a 6 month internship at a design consultancy.

I have also been tipped off that I will be approached about a potential job opportunity to become a lecturer/teacher on a Product Design course at a college.


I think the bigger question is what could you possibly have to offer students after recently graduating and with couple of internships. No gap year -- get a job.

Re: Gap Year

Postby designbreathing » April 15th, 2016, 6:13 pm

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rjpd wrote:Upon leaving university I undertook a few months of freelance work and currently coming to the end of a 6 month internship at a design consultancy.


Looks as though your gap years are behind you...You're probably now paying taxes, building a credit history and not living with your parents anymore. If you have been tapped as you say, then someone thinks you have something to offer the next generation of designers who are still in school (or it is just passing happy talk).

There is nothing wrong with teaching if you take the right perspective. Making as many contacts as possible in your first 10 years out of school should be one of your high priorities. After those 10 years you'll have something of a network to fall back on and use to advance your career. I don't know how flattery and honor work in the UK, but if you let that kind of sentiment go to your head you might end up teaching for the remainder of your career. If you get the teaching gig, give the students value in return for their tuition. Just as you would as a designer working for a client who is paying you a fee.

If the school you'll teach at as has kept up with technology, then you do not have to worry about falling behind. Working only 3 days a week will give you ample time to raise your skills in an environment that has less stress and no deadlines and will make you more attractive when you go out formally to get your next industry job. ( I advocate that you are always formally out there looking for your next position however)

The only thing I would warn you about teaching is that it can dull your edge. Be weary of this and keep pushing yourself to take on more projects, sharpening your skills and networking with other pros. There are far less designers who have a heart attack that are teaching than those working to meet client deadlines, flying to the far east or fending off IP lawsuits.

Good luck...
Form follows culture....

I've followed the discussions on this forum since it began...Asia is the future and I'm here to share my views and experiences.

Nice to meet you...http://designsymbiosisblog.wordpress.com/

Re: Gap Year

Postby rjpd » April 24th, 2016, 12:59 pm

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Thanks for the advice guys!

Seems as though as you say, it won't be a gap year, but more giving some time up to give back to an establishment/sector that certainly helped me advance to the next stage of my career.

The advice I have been given by a very respectable design in the UK is that the opportunity will certainly enhance my reputation in years to come so it will the teaching of design will help me in the long run!


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