Industrial design and the single life?

On a side note I might add that the adversness of working in a design agency to family life
was one main factor that drove me into product management and sales. (i.e. corporate life):

I traded long hours that rewarded me with the satisfaction of nailing the details of a project
for normal office hours with the sacrifice of detail control. Because I loved design so much I was’t
able to go home and sleep. It was all about the project. Scary.

(might it be that most designers are control freaks?) Bad for a relationship.

I really miss the occasion to draw the lines myself (sometimes the urge gets to hard and I still
do). But saving my private life was more than worth it. In an ideal world I would have both, but
life as a designer (outside corporate) tends to suck everything out of the unwary.

I must admit, though, that I reached my personal goals as a designer first. The advice of someone
here to make oneself “complete” before entering into a sirious relationship also holds much truth.
More difficult for women, but most people of 20something don’t know who they are.

And I only dated a fellow designer once. We are still on good terms 20 years later, when we meet
occasionaly, but being with her was a constant dog fight.

I’ve been with my partner for 5 years and have just moved to Finland to push my carrer in the direction I want, leaving my partner back in the UK (with cat!). In this economic climate you can’t be too fussy about where you go for the right job though it was a tough decision that we both had to make.

Hopefully though, making that decision now will mean that we have more options in the future to live and find work in the same place!

And yes, my partner is a designer and somehow we managed to live together for two years too!

Accomplish some of your goals? Being a young designer, theres still a lot that I need to see and learn within this field. I’m very eager to see it, its just that I’m also afraid that my time may run out quickly. I’m afraid that when I find the place and job that I really like, I might be in my late 30s and would have missed out on some important parts of life. I guess thats where compromise comes in.

I can totally relate to simon_four_fingers and the minimalist lifestyle. I do find it interesting that I could basically pack whatever I need into my hatchback and move. If it doesn’t fit, then I would sell it to my friends or put up ads on craigslist.

Get an Au Pair, they are not really all that much, I think $175-250 a week, and a room in your home. But they are NOT a servant, they live with you as part of the fam.

its not just about having a significant other. these same issues apply to general friendships and family too. At a point you will have to decide what is more important to you and find a situation that works for what you want.

After college I moved away from my college and away from my family. even though i have a job in a steady location with a steady girlfriend I still miss seeing my family, which are several states away. This situation has worked for me, others i know wouldnt be able to move away from their family only being able to visit once or twice a year.

Its a tough decision and there is no right answer, you got to do what you got to do.

Sachin, I got half way through your first paragraph and immediately thought compromise. Then you answered it yourself at the end. I only said “some of your goals” as life is compromise.

I believe what crewkid says, there are no right answers.

A friend of mine moved to Australia a few years ago to pursue his dreams and his girlfriend came along with him. She left after a year to travel for a year and move back home, and in the last month of traveling she met a new guy that she now lives with. He’s got a job he loves living in a city he loves (Melbourne) but is miserable because he’s coming to the realization that he let an amazing girl that he took for granted go. I’m sure this story is not one of a kind.

Maybe I need to go back and change my advice!

WHAT!?!? From where!? Daycare for 8 hours pushes $250-300/ week average per child! There’s no way an Au Pair would be less than that, and live with you. No way.

In fact, here in Toronto you can get a live-in Philippino nanny for less than we spend on daycare each month for our 2 kids… but they love daycare and they have a ton of friends in the neighbourhood because they get to socialise a lot more. I have a couple of friends who have them and they don’t mind doing a bit of laundry and cleaning the house either… no happy endings though apparently :wink:

end thread hi-jack

it is a good topic… Dating and even making a good community of friends is challenging when you move.

I moved many times after getting a couple years experience at my first job, and every time it’s been challenge. Being single much of that time, it was tough - but things get easier grasshopper! The more times you move and build a local network of friends and acquaintances, the easier it gets… and it’s a good skill to have. The same goes for those single years - “exploring what you like” type relationships; it gets easier to meet the people that you like with experience (you’ve probably figured that one out), and when you have moved several times you also have that interesting different background vibe.

Also, when you decide you’ve found the right one, it’s good to be in a city where you have options as a designer and enough experience keep your career moving. Some cities have very few ID opportunities and with dual careers, it can be complicated

your significant other certainly does have to have a sense of adventure. i’ve moved 4 times in my 10+ year career. i’ve been married almost four years. my wife had never lived outside of the state she is from.

fortunately for us, she works in telecommunications. also the company she has been with for 6 years now has offices in every major city in the united states. when we moved from the east coast to the west coast, she transferred offices and got a nice promotion just based over phone interviews and performance reviews. her office is about 5 miles from mine. it has all worked out very well.

when i have serious interviews, i alsway make certain it’s 1) someplace she woud like to try living 2) has at least a lateral promotion for her 3) in OUR best interests, not just mine.

or… (from another point of view), stay single and enjoy the single life and the freedom it brings. Not that I’d want to be single my whole life (love kids), but being single can certainly be an advantage in some cases where there is a job is some far off country that most people with a SO or family may not want to move to, you’ve automatically got ahead in the competition for the role and narrowed the prospective applicant pool. I look at it as a competitive advantage. (Plus I spend all my money on me, rather than someone else).

BTW, It’s a lifestyle choice to be sure, and I’m not at all knocking those with family or SOs. I just enjoy the flexibility and freedom being single provides… (at least at this point in my life).


I made a decision 10 years ago that I was going to plant my feet in the area close to home and do ID work after moving twice (CA,PA) in the first year from college. So now that I look back I realize my portfolio may not be as hot as a globe trotting newbie but I don’t think I did bad with a fine house, wife, 1yr old kid, car, 529, at age 32. I have 8 solid years of fulltime work and 2 years of freelance/intern work. Freelance is sporadic these days but its hard to have it all.