…best you can do is be as adaptable as you can be…step outside of your comfort zone when possible…add new skills and your knowledge of other relevant areas which interest you…grow and maintain your professional network every month…document and quantify what your work contributed to each and every project…update your resume and your portfolio at least twice a year…but follow your bliss in all of this…a career path you don’t enjoy is something you don’t want or need to experience…as long as you can continue to find something important/valuable to do and you can succeed at doing it with pride…you are on a good path…
Well 15 years is a long time to be in the design industry. That’s the equivalent to someone working for the big three for 30 years. Sounds like you had a good stint in the industry. I have noticed most people who go past the ten year mark either start their own firm, teach at a design school or end up doing freelance work.
I wish I had known this about seven years ago. I have been out of school 3 1/2 years now.
I can see that this industry is short lived. I would love to tell all of the students in design schools the reality of the business, that they will most likely wash out after their first couple of years, have no retirement after 55 and end up doing scrap work for some has been design school to make ends meat. The only problem is that they wouldn’t believe me. All the dreams of working in this industry for 30 years and reaching for the stars is nothing more than just that “DREAMS”.
Even if you are good, there will always be some new kid on the block who will be the new replacement for the has been designer. Just ask the many 30 or 40 something designers that get laid off each day without explanation.
Word of advice, go back to school and get another degree in something else. I’m afraid to wait 15 years to start thinking about what to do next. I remember my high school counselor telling me not to go to design school. She told me that my options would be limited. I thought she was full of it but now I can see that she meant me some good. I only wish I had listened.
Other threads on this forum deal with some of the options.
As an interactive (GUI?) designer you’re likely feeling the heat after 10 years but honestly you should have started looking around a tad sooner. And 15 years is by todays stds a very long time to be working in any design field. Typical options are corporate (management), teaching, freelancing or any other type of business. Or, of course, leave the field altogether, which is what more are doing. I don’t believe in designers “regenerating” unless you manage to turn back the clock and claim you are 24 again. Age is the problem. They all equate fresh blood with good design. Hip, trendy, in, now.
Oversupply of talented kids working for a song keeps the machine humming along.
If you mean by “designer” a person who sketches all day, then yes your days are numbered. People can’t afford to pay you what you are worth for skills only. At this point they are paying for knowledge.
That said, I know plenty of people who are still developing products way past 15 years (I have been working for 16). At this point however you should be employed based on knowledge of the full product development process and managing it to make sure younger designers ideas make it to the marketplace. At this stage you need to be a mentor and a cultivator. I know it is an overused cliche, but at this point it is not about me it is about us.
Other professions that hit this experience roadblock also:
Engineers: They are not doing calculations anymore.
Software: They aren’t writing code anymore.
There are, of course exceptions, but these are the norms.
Now I am off, with my manager’s salary, to enjoy a week in Cozumel, Mexico
Field only took off 10 years ago? What galaxy are you in? And towards which galaxy did design “take off” since it’s sure not around here. There WAS more design work 10 years ago, in case you were even born then. And not of the CAD jockey variety like what’s left today.
Talk for yourself and read the other posts too before you decide what is crap and what not.
I have a friend that applied for a job at a major company. They were 35 at the time and had 13 years experience. They were given an offer in the low 40’s. They were insulted by the offer and told that they were competing against kids who will work for a minimal amount and have up to date software skills. Most companies don’t have time to train designers anymore. They expect them to already have the necessary computer skills to handle the job.
A 15 year designer is expected to have achieved a certain level of success. If they don’t have that success, it will raise eyebrows.
My friend isn’t in design anymore but they are a manager. Unfortunately, they have no retirement and their benefits are minimal. They are on contract. Contract at that point in life. Yikes!
So is this design business worth it in the long haul? I don’t know.
I think you have to try and come up with your own great ideas… and then make your millions… As designers we have the advantage of knowing a little about everything… We should eventually be able to come up with an idea of our own, rather then always working on someone elses ideas.
Take your own advice: this guy is asking about INTERACTIVE design (nothing to do with CAD jockey’s.) While that field has existed for 40 years, it experienced it’s fastest and largest growth spurt 10 years ago, with the birth of the web, explosion of the videogame market and electronic gadgets, and fueled with new consumer-friendly design tools like Macromedia Flash.
None of the “over thirty” designers I’ve worked with over the past 10 years have had any “overemployment” type problems alluded to here–they’re all doing well, and desperately seeking talent to hire, myself included.
Case no. 2
RICHARD LIPPOLD, SCULPTOR
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ROSLYN, N.Y. – Richard Lippold, a sculptor whose abstract works are featured at Avery Fisher Hall and Harvard University, died Aug. 22. He was 87.
Lippold created giant metal abstractions, many of which are suspended by wires so they appear to be hovering or moving through space.
His piece “World Tree,” a 27-foot structure of straight and circular metal tubes that resembles a radio antenna, stands on the Harvard University campus.
He is also known for “Ad Astra,” a double spire that rises 115 feet in front of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and “Orpheous and Apollo,” a constellation of bronze bars connected by wires which hangs in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.
Lippold studied industrial design, piano and dance at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. He worked as a freelance industrial designer for several years before teaching art at the University of Michigan.
He moved to Long Island in 1944, and later taught at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., and Hunter College in New York.
I couldn’t agree with CG more, ID did explode 10 years ago. early nineties there were roughly 40-50 schools offering non-accredited ID degrees (33 accredited programs) last I heard there are now over 110 school offering non-accredited degrees. There are addition examples about the growth of ID on a macro level, but I feel that the post would be too long for everyone to read.
To remain in the design field for 15+ years, you had better be up to date on software or trends, or you had better have a firm grasp of creative process and managing teams.
actually dmd, enlighten us with these “examples about the growth of ID on a macro level”, most of us can read beyond 3 paragraphs and learning is what we’re here for. this is industrial (product), not interface design you’re talking about, right? let’s see the stats on your claims.