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rkuchinsky
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skyarrow wrote:Been a while since I last posted, but still an avid lurker/browser...

I can vouch for #2 on the list. Though that can be broken down in two categories:
1) Getting fired


#1 is trickier. A lot of soul searching / self examination is required, but the sting of this too can be eased over time by keying in on what happened and what you could have done better. Accept responsibility for those things you did wrong and learn from them.

Either way, it can be devastating at the time, but in the long run can serve to give you some valuable experience and hopefully make you a better person/designer/employee.


This is what I had in mind. It forces you to do some self-analysis and re-evaluation of your goals. I think is healthy.

A lot can come from experiences that are both positive and negative

Same goes for my idea of working for equity or bringing your own product to market. It may be a success or a complete failure, but either way I'm sure you'd learn something (I haven't done either, BTW, but have heard great stories from people who have and have come out stronger no matter which way things went).

R
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Travisimo
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it can make you much more self reliant in the long run too - a kick in the rear toward what you really want to be doing

a negative end can teach you some important office lessons too

totally agree about the factory experience. It's surprising how little you go in some positions and how often in others

One more, for all people imo: take a personal finance class or meet an advisor. One of the best classed I ever took
Last edited by Travisimo on January 24th, 2013, 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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slippyfish
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+1 for factory visits and gaining a deeper understanding of the manufacturing process.

You can go all the way to Asia and watch minimum wage in action, OR spec something to be made domestically, visit the factories, and actually work on the assembly line. Find yourself actually cursing your brilliant idea to hide all the mechanical fasteners.


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I sort of got fired, my boss saw that I had "quit job" on my desk candler and to-do list for the last three weeks. I told him why, he wasn't able to help, so we separated.

I'd say (and this is personal) falling in love (more so the heartbreak) helped me be a better designer. No idea why, maybe I became more empathetic?

I'd guess knowing how to put things together and take them apart has helped but I have been doing that my whole life.

Working in a foundry helps me understand / appreciate how things are made.
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mo-i
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Why does the factory have to be in asia?

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yo
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I've also visited a few factories in Italy. Some great ones, the Bruno Magli factory, the Alessi factory, the Segis furniture factory. All great learning experiences. Seeing it in Asia gives you another perspective though I think. The scale, the pace, the country itself.... but for sure, just visiting manufacturing facilities for anything and everything. I love visiting manufacturing facilities outside my industry. Always lots to learn.

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Yo: Definitely agree with you on the factory visits. I worked on assembly lines for a couple weeks at an old job. The more that a designer works at different functions in a company illuminates all the things that we touch. A real person has to assemble that product. Someone else has to stock it. Another has to keep inventory for it. Someone else is going to stick it in an envelope and send it to a customer to replace a broken one. Yet another is going to have an hour long conversation trying to figure out which part the customer needs.

I wish every CEO or president worked a week at these positions too...
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"L'homme n'est rien. L'œuvre c'est tout." Gustave Flaubert

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yo
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Working on the line, that is pretty cool!

I remember reading about some design exec, I think maybe at Chrysler in the old days. He started as a designer, then went to engineering, then went to marketing, then became their VP of design and he said he felt that because he worked in all of those various departments, he truly understood all of the competing priorities that were at play, and could be a better head of design.

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jon_winebrenner
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Another thing every designer should do is enter the 1HDC :)

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PackageID
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R,

Great list. I have probably done half of these. I think I am going to print this up and put it in my home office.

I got the not getting fired, but job loss, out of my system early in my career. This my sound a bit out there, but I think loosing your is a great learning experience. It taught me when I was young not only the meaning of having a great job but also evaluating what I have before moving on. In my instance I did not know what I had before it was gone. I learned from my mistakes, and now have a comprehensive plan before moving on to new opportunities as well as how to play the career game. I will admit that it hurt when it happened but built me up to who I am now.

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Stuffed Vulture
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Speak at a conference or two.

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nxakt
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I concur on every post above having to do with knowing the process by visiting the factory. Visit a factory wherever the center of that things production happens to be. Different countries approach things differently, German factories for example, awesome automation and machine control. China factories, scale. American factories, ingenuity.

For an advanced degree, every designer should do the following

    Spend more than five months at year working and developing at factories. Beats the typical work flow of reviewing each iteration on a seperate trip, especially large projects with multiple parts and technologies coming together. [ personally: Quebec, California, Italy, China]

    Live at the factory and design in the front office to be able to implement the ideas. Half the battles with new ideas ar convincing the factory that you know what you are talking about and the presence makes you "in touch" as well as a fantastic education. [ California, Italy, China]

    Design a factory from the ground up. Not only eat eat your own dog food, make your own dog food grinder. :D . [Quebec, California, Utah]

    Design production machinery to make the unmakeable. [California, Italy, China]

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PackageID
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Stuffed Vulture wrote:Speak at a conference or two.


Agreed. I spoke at the Fuse conference and will be speaking at IDSA Central District in Cleveland in April. This helps you form your point of view as well create contacts. Nothing makes you check yourself more than speaking in front of your peers. We spend most of our days convincing non-designers. When we have to talk to ourselves it takes on a new meaning.

I am going to add one....I think all IDs should establish a career mentor. This can be challenging, but it is very important for your professional development. This is very different than a professor that you may develop as a mentor in college. This is find someone that you can trust in your professional network that you can bounce ideas off of and that can give you solid career advice.

J
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"Never let the same dog bite you twice" -Chuck Berry-

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mo-i
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Having done the kids thing, I disagree. People take having kids too lightly and watching the amount of dumbass parents around me (not excluding myself), I definitely do not encourage everyone to have them. I lean towards the side of thinking that parenting should require a license or something


Well, this is exactly why I didn't write "have a kid". Telling young guys to go and father kids would be rather
irrisponsible as building a family is a different and much more complicated job, than just "having" sprogs.

But building a deep and trustful relationship, that can cope witht the stress of having two little ones made me a
better worker for sure. It covered up resources that I didn't know I still had, helped me to focus my energy better
and I sure hope it made me a more empathic and relaxed team player. And some of that does compliment my wife
and my boss more than myself, I might add.

This is what my number 11# is about and writing it was triggered by the general anti-kid behaviour of the German society.
The birth rate is falling constantly over here as employers and politicians are unable to fathom out why especially educated women do not give birthe anymore. Which I think Is a shame and a loss for all of us. (end of rant)

mo-i
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Travisimo
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Stuffed Vulture wrote:Speak at a conference or two.


That's a good one.

could also be.."become comfortable speaking to large unfamiliar audiences." Helps project your POV back in the office

PackageID wrote:I am going to add one....I think all IDs should establish a career mentor.


Totally agree, a mentor or at least a role model

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