I’ve been in the design field for 10 years now and at this point, I just want out. Unfortunatly design is all I know. I don’t want to create my own design company. I’ve just had it with the hole career path.

So what does one do? Can a design degree and 10 years of product design experience translate into anything else? I just want a “normal” job that can be had in someplace warm (Texas would be nice). All the grief, and the fact that at an age of 40 (I understand this doesn’t always happen) my design career could be done, has caused me to desprately look for the exit door.

Theres got to be something out there I can jump to. Any thoughts?

Why not design Managment?

I’m pretty much done with it all, but lets put that aside.

Do you need to go back to school for that?

You shouldn’t need to. Most good managers started in the position they are currently managing.

Other than that… Do you have any hobbies? Is there an industry that sounds very intriguing to you outside of the design world? Or perhaps a company you think sounds like a fun/cool/rewarding place to work? Or is there a city you’ve always wanted to live in?

I like to paint. Although I’ve been so busy with my current job I haven’t painted in over two years.

I would like to move to Texas or Tennesee.

Texas holds the title in my mind for ‘most surprisingly fruitful state in the US’ - I was born and raised in Hershey, PA and we North-Easterners generally don’t share too much in common with Texans. I’ve been here in Austin for 7 months and don’t see myself going anywhere else for quite some time. I highly recommend TX, it is truly a place I love to call my home.

Aside from Texas… design is thinking. Advanced problem solving. Everything else is second; creativity, cost analysis, sketching, all that. You can get into anything you might want to explore as a new career with this skill of problem solving with thought. I wouldn’t recommend specialty jobs (architecture, electrical engineering, biology, etc) - but any job that you seem to loosely describe should be easy to win over if you can talk and think. I agree, a hobby-inspired job would be a great choice. Painting is a bit tricky, as there are some excellent veterans out there.

Why post this on a design board if you want out of design? Doesn’t make sense. I hit the 10 year mark this year as well. It is a tough game, but over all I feel like I’m just getting warmed up. Leaving now would be like getting out before I really started.

This is heading in the right direction.

Other than that… Do you have any hobbies? Is there an industry that sounds very intriguing to you outside of the design world? Or perhaps a company you think sounds like a fun/cool/rewarding place to work? Or is there a city you’ve always wanted to live in?

What truly makes you happy? If you’re not happy then you won’t enjoy your job, that’s why you’re leaving Industrial Design right?. You should make a list of all the activities, hobbies, jobs, and other things you’ve always wanted to do. These are the things that you would truly enjoy doing. Then narrow down that list by a system of pros and cons for each possible job. For example:

More schooling for a different career path costs additional money, that maybe a con for some…
I’d rather be doing something outdoors, that would be a positive if you like being outdoors…
These lists can go on and on…

It’s your list so break it down in your own way.

Who cares if your next job has nothing to do with Industrial Design, only you should care, as long as you love what you’re doing with a passion. You should be excited to go to work in the morning. A majority of the people out there working just do it for the money, which is totally wrong. Take the less stressful approach by living for yourself!

Oh yeah, one more note. Don’t quit unless you’ve got something else lined up. I’d hate to hear things turned out horrible for a fellow IDer.

Good luck!

Why would I post this on a design website? Simple, this is such a specialized field that going to Monster would be a waste of time. I’ve come to a group of designers to help me gain perspective on what to do with my 10 years of product design experience.

I think I’m getting caught up in the negatives of a design career. I just feel like I’m stuck living in places I don’t want to live in, only to face an early ending at 40. Yesterday when I posted this, I was in a really low place. Maybe just a bad day for me, I don’t know. I just miss the warmer climates and haveing a feeling of future growth for a long time to come.

I guess my question still remains though. After a senior position, where do you go? At an age of 35, can you still make a design career last till a retirement of 65?

There are plenty of areas you can go in but in some way they are going to involve design. Think about the people you deal with on a daily basis. Just a few I can think of off the top of my head are:

Material sales
Research analysis
Trend analysis
Experience designer
Interaction designer
Interface designer

Ask yourself is there a part of design that you enjoy more than another. Take those skills and run with them.

There is also Management. Look in TX there are plenty of Firms there. I know Fossil was hiring for a while (they are outside Houston I think). There is also NC in the research triangle.