I am a product designer who’s always worked as a a employee on site for companies. I do pretty much the whole NPD process - bringing product ideas from concept into production. Making 3D models, assemblies, drawings, making and testing prototypes, refining the design, working with the tool makers, manufacturers, marketing and sales, etc etc. A typical project can easily take a year or more. I usually work at the same company for 3 to 7 years.
Problem is I get so bored driving to the same building, seeing the same people, and working on the same products day in and day out. I kind of lose the plot after a while. I don’t like being tied to the same location (building or city) for so long.
I thrive on variety. Meeting new people, going new places, seeing new things. So I think I would rather work on smaller portions of the projects, but across multiple projects. And would rather work remotely, being able to work from anywhere.
Do any of you feel the same way?
Is it possible to live in one city, or even out in the country somewhere, and work for multiple companies in other cities? Or even better yet - while travelling?
Well there is always a balance. I sometimes have so many projects for different clients that in my head names get confused and I become too scatterbrained, so it’s also good to have a few projects to dedicate more long-term attention to. It’s a matter of getting a feeling for managing that for yourself, exploring what fits you and not hesitating to putting it to action. I have also learned the value of the proverbial sticking to your last.
I’m pretty early in my design career, so my experience doesn’t hold too much value, but I am working two different design gigs (one remote, one local) at the moment. I really thinks it just depends on the structure of the companies that you work for and making sure there’s not conflict of interest. The company I am working remotely for is a smaller company (UX/UI/software) and about 50% of their employees work remotely anyway, but I started with them locally for about 8 months before moving to the east coast for this other job(pure industrial design).
Honestly it’s been a really refreshing experience for me and I can definitely empathize with you of a daily routine or city becoming stale. It seems that you are pretty established, but if you can make it work I’d recommend it.
Thanks for your insights Ralph. What did you mean by that in this context? I’ve not heard that phrase before.